Youth and experience will bolster Team Sky for 2011 with the arrivals of Davide Appollonio and Jeremy Hunt, two riders at opposite ends of their respective careers.
Appollonio, 21, is a second-year pro while Hunt, 37, enters his 16th pro season. Both come across from Cervélo TestTeam, which folds at the end of this season.
“Our two latest signings perfectly represent the mix of youth and experience which we are bringing to the team,” said Team Principal Dave Brailsford in a statement. “Davide is a great talent and has already shown fantastic promise over the past two years with several race wins. Jeremy on the other hand, brings a wealth of experience with him which the younger riders will be able to benefit greatly from. His achievements speak for themselves and he is a well-respected rider within the peloton.”
The arrivals of Appollonio and Hunt follow the signings of Rigoberto Urán, Xabier Zandio and Alex Dowsett at the end of September.
Appollonio was set to join Spanish team Movistar, but was lured away by Team Sky. The Italian is hyped by many as a future top sprinter and classics man and won a stage at the Tour du Limousin in what was a solid rookie season.
Hunt, meanwhile, is one of the most consistent and durable classics riders in the bunch. After turning pro with Banesto in 1996, Hunt finally made his Tour de France debut this season with Cervélo.
Team Geox-TMC, meanwhile, announced the addition of two young Italians, both 21, who are seen by many to have pro-level potential. Tomas Alberio joins from Trevigiani Dynamom Bottoli while Daniele Ratto moves from Carmiooro-NGC.
“The signings of Alberio and Ratto fit in well with the vision of our principal sponsors, Geox and TMC, who are betting on a project with a strong presence now but an eye for the future,” Gianetti said in a statement. “The two of them have a big future and will help our leaders, but will have a chance to be protagonists in selected races.”
The latest two arrivals brings the team’s confirmed lineup to 20 riders go into the 2011 season. Top new names include Denis Menchov (Rabobank), David de la Fuente (Astana), former U23 world champion Fabio Duarte (Colombia es Pasión) and Carlos Sastre and Marcel Wyss, both from Cervélo.