Some of the big names riding Specialized in 2018
For fans of many sports, August means transfer season. And, while you won’t see any cyclists being purchased for multi-million pound sums, pro teams are now beginning to dip into the market of soon-to-be out of contract riders, hoping to lure them to pastures new for 2018. Equally, for every rider looking to move, there’s a team desperate to keep hold of him, and many of the biggest contracts of the window go to those who stay put. Here are a few of the most notable names to sign new deals so far:
A two-time British national champion, Pete Kennaugh will make the move to Bora-Hansgrohe next season. The Manxman brings to his new team a knack for a plucky solo win and a strong set of climbing legs, not to mention an Olympic gold medal. Having spent much of his career so far as a dedicated lieutenant to his team leaders, Kennaugh will be relishing the chance to pursue his own goals in 2018.
Speaking of dedicated lieutenants, few in the peloton have a capacity for selfless suffering to match Daniel Oss. Joining Bora-Hansgrohe for 2018, the Italian can often be seen drilling it on the front of the peloton, and has developed a reputation as a super-domestique in recent years. A veteran of tens of Grand Tours, his tactical nous will be just as valuable as his massive engine across almost all terrain. The likes of Peter Sagan will be glad to have the not inconsiderable frame of Oss to shelter behind at the business end of both stage races and the classics.
Arguably of equal importance to strengthening the roster of riders at a team’s disposal is keeping the talent you have. Quick-Step Floors are yet to announce any new signings for 2018, but they’ve been quick to tie their group of existing stars to new contracts. Headlining that list is none other than Philippe Gilbert. The Belgian has won almost every hilly classic going in his enviable career, and this year he conquered the cobbles too, taking the Ronde van Vlaanderen in a stylish 50km solo effort. At 35, Gilbert will next season turn his attentions towards Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo, as he looks to fill in the few gaps that remain on one of the most glittering palmarès in cycling.
All these riders will no doubt be looking forward to putting their new bikes through their paces in 2018. And if a bike’s good enough for them, surely it’s good enough for you too? Take a look:
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