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Lachlan Morton, regarded by many as the most talented climber on the U.S. domestic circuit, will return to the big leagues in 2017, riding for Dimension Data. Morton confirmed to VeloNews that he will make the move, one day after CyclingTips reported that he will transfer to the South African team that wears black and white.
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The 24-year-old Australian won the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in August with a flourish of panache, winning with a long-range attack on the final stage to Park City, defeating Cannondale – Garmin’s Andrew Talansky, who would go on to finish fifth overall in the Vuelta a España. Morton also won the climber-friendly Tour of the Gila in New Mexico earlier in the 2016 season.
Morton raced with Garmin – Sharp in the WorldTour for three seasons before moving to Continental team Jelly Belly – Maxxis, where he’s been for two years.
Although Dimension Data is currently a WorldTour team, there is some concern that it may not make the cut in 2017, as the UCI intends to pare down its roster of first-tier teams to just 17. Currently, Dimension Data is ranked 18th with one WorldTour race remaining, Il Lombardia.