Juanma Gárate rode for several teams as a GC contender during his career, earning four top-10 finishes in the Giro d'Italia.

Ex-pro Juanma Gárate will slip behind the wheel for Cannondale in 2016. Team boss Jonathan Vaughters confirmed media reports in Spain that the 39-year-old Basque all-rounder will be the team’s newest sport director.

Gárate rode professionally from 2000 to 2013, and won stages in all three grand tours, including Mont Ventoux out of a breakaway ahead of Tony Martin in the 2009 Tour de France. Gárate rode with such teams as Lampre, Saunier Duval, Quick-Step, and Rabobank.

After Gárate attended the UCI’s sport director program, Vaughters tapped him to fill the vacancy left by Robbie Hunter, who exited the squad after two years. The remainder of the sport director staff remains intact for 2016, with Charly Wegelius, Bingen Fernández, Johnny Weltz, Fabrizio Guidi, Andreas Klier, and Eric Van Lancker staying on board.

The news is the latest in what’s been a very busy off-season for Vaughters. The team sees a major make-over coming into 2016, with 11 new riders on the roster. Eight riders are leaving the franchise, and the squad will have a full lineup of 30 for the upcoming campaign.

Top names to arrive include Rigoberto Urán (Etixx-Quick-Step), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin), and Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Cannonade’s roster remains the youngest in the WorldTour, with an average age of 26.6 years. (The oldest, according to ProCyclingStats.com, is Trek, at 29.9 years).

Leaving the organization were two of its anchor riders, with Daniel Martin heading to Etixx-Quick-Step and 2012 Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal defecting to Trek Factory Racing. Ted King retired and Tom Danielson tested positive for testosterone. Danielson is fighting the case, though he does not have a contract with the team.

Andrew Talansky, Davide Formolo, Alex Howes, Joe Dombrowski, Ben King, Ramunas Navardauskas, Jack Bauer, Moreno Moser, and Sebastian Langeveld are among the riders retained for the upcoming season in what sees a stronger and rejuvenated Cannondale for 2016.

New Cannondale riders for 2016

Rigoberto Urán (Etixx-Quick-Step)
Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin)
Phil Gaimon (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge)
Wouter Wippert (Drapac)
Patrick Bevin (Avanti)
Toms Skujins (Hincapie)
Pierre Rolland (Europcar)
Matti Breschel (Tinkoff)
Ryan Mullen (An Post)
Michael Woods (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies)

Riders leaving Cannondale

Ryder Hesjedal (Trek Factory Racing)
Daniel Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step)
Nathan Haas (Dimension Data)
Lasse Norman Hansen (Stolting Group)
Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida)
Janier Acevedo (Jamis)
Ted King (retired)
Tom Danielson (doping positive)