Elia Viviani is on the move and will sign with Cofidis, the French outfit have confirmed.
The Italian sprint star is leaving Deceuninck – Quick-Step after two years and will take his compatriot and lead-out rider Fabio Sabatini with him.
Rumours of Viviani’s move have been circulating this summer, with Cofidis confirming the new signing on Monday (August 5).
The 30-year-old said: “I am very excited about riding in my new colours. I was able to observe, by talking with [Cofidis general manager] Cédric Vasseur and [sports director] Roberto Damiani, how much the Cofidis team was committed to recruiting me and proposing an ambitious project for me
“I very much appreciate the desire to create a team around me and the confidence they have shown in me with the arrival of my friend Fabio. The Cofidis jersey is among the most historic in the peloton and I am proud to wear it.”
Viviani, winner of RideLondon-Surrey Classic, has become an increasingly coveted rider since he left Team Sky at the end of 2017, taking his opportunity to command a full lead-out train at Quick-Step by winning three stages of the Vuelta a España last year and completing his collection of Grand Tour victories with a stage of the 2019 Tour. He also holds an Olympic gold medal from the 2016 games where he won the omnium on the track.
Viviani will take 34-year-old Sabitini with him to Cofidis, showing the confidence management have in building their team around the sprinter.
Rumours suggest that their current hope for the fast finishes, the volatile Nacer Bouhanni will switch to Arkea-Samsic for next season while Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) is expected to replace Viviani at Quick-Step.
Sabatini said: “I am very happy to join Cofidis with Elia. It is one of the oldest sponsors in cycling and the team’s prospects for next year are very exciting.
“I have a lot of experience taking a sprinter to victory. With Elia, we have been team-mates since 2010 and we have a very good relationship.
“I am very happy to continue my career with him. We will do everything to win great victories in the new colours.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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