Team Cannondale Announces Complete Roster for 2014 Season
Coming off of the team's successful inaugural season that saw the team secure no less than 35 stage victories and the green jersey in the Tour de France, next year Team Cannondale will continue to build its team around a portfolio of young, solid and talented international riders with a flair for winning.
The team's announced strategy of focusing on young talent proved very successful during the 2013 season. The team management, however, at times saw a lack of experience at times where the team was under extreme stress. 20 riders are continuing with the team next year. Complementing this stable core, the team has signed three additional riders to balance its strategy and is also welcoming four neo-professional riders.
Cannondale has signed experienced Italian riders Oscar Gatto and Marco Marcato with the specific purpose of bringing needed experience to the team in the Classics season and in the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana.
A skilled, all-round rider, 29-year-old Marcato raced for the ProTour Vacansoleil-DCM team in 2012. His strong character will add depth to the team during the Classics and his experience as a domestique will allow him to work with and support team sprinter Peter Sagan, offering him valuable experience when needed.
28-year-old Gatto was captain of his previous team, Fantini Vini, and has nine professional wins on his palmarès, including a stage of the Giro d'Italia in 2011. Gatto's role will be to support Sagan in the Classics and assume the role of team leader in other races.
The team is also welcoming on board New Zealander George Bennett. The 23-year-old climber took the silver medal in the New Zealand road championship in 2013 and joins Team Cannondale Pro Cycling from ProTour team RadioShack-Leopard, which folded at the end of the 2013 season.
Staying with Team Cannondale in 2014 is American Ted King whose 2013 season was an emotional roller coaster. King took part in his first Tour de France, but was involved in the crash-marred stage 1 finish. The American suffered a separated shoulder, but King did not give in. He fought on only to find himself expelled from the Tour after finishing 7 seconds outside the time limit in the team time trial stage.
"The 2013 season swung the emotional roller coaster. Clearly it’s special to be part of so many wins all throughout the season. From the spring classics all the way through the North American swing of Colorado, Alberta, and Montreal, winning always feels good. The biggest target on a personal level is the 2014 Tour. Obviously I have unfinished business there after a tough inaugural Tour this year," King told RoadCycling.com.
To King its valuable to remain part of a team that has a low degree of employee turnover. King values the stability and predictability it offers him and he is looking forward to regrouping with his teammates for the coming season.
"There are lots of familiar faces on the team for the coming year. Cannondale is a special program that really has the feel of home. That familiarity year-to-year is an priceless foundation and will make 2014 an even stronger season than an already successful past," King explained to RoadCycling.com.
In addition to experienced pro riders Marcato, Gatto and Bennett, Cannondale Pro Cycling has also signed four promising young neo-pros. Former junior World champion and current U23 World Champion Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) and Italian riders Davide Villella, Alberto Bettiol and Davide Formolo.
Team Cannondale Pro Cycling's complete line-up for the 2014 season:
Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
Ivan Basso (Italy)
Moreno Moser (Italy)
Elia Viviani (Italy)
Damiano Caruso (Italy)
Michel Koch (Germany)
Ted King (USA)
Maciej Bodnar (Poland)
Guillaume Boivin (Canada)
Alessandro De Marchi (Italy)
Kristijan Koren (Slovenia)
Matthias Krizek (Austria)
Paolo Longo Borghini (Italy)
Alan Marangoni (Italy)
Daniele Ratto (Italy)
Fabio Sabatini (Italy)
Juraj Sagan (Slovakia)
Cristiano Salerno (Italy)
Josè Cayetano Sarmiento (Colombia)
Cameron Wurf (Australia)
Oscar Gatto (Italy)
Marco Marcato (Italy)
George Bennett (New Zealand)
Matej Mohoric (Slovenia)
Davide Villella (Italy)
Alberto Bettiol (Italy)
Davide Formolo (Italy)