Road

EF Pro Cycling and Qhubeka-Assos strengthen 2021 lineups, Gage Hecht to Trek Factory Racing

The American and South African-based WorldTour squads continue to fill out their rosters with climbers and sprinters.

EF Pro Cycling has scooped up 22-year-old climber Diego Camargo.

Wielerflits reports that Camargo will make his debut as a pro, and has committed through the 2022 season.

The young Colombian climber won the Vuelta de la Juventud de Colombia — won by Miguel Ángel López in 2015 and Richard Carapaz in 2016 — and also the Vuelta a Colombia — won by Jonathan Caicedo in 2018 — in a single season.

“He is one of the few riders who won the Vuelta Juventud and the Vuelta Colombia in the same year. We may be dealing here with a cycling champion of the highest level,” said team manager Jonathan Vaughters.

Camargo joins Colombians Rigoberto Urán and Sergio Higuita on the American-based squad.

“I am a versatile rider and can handle any terrain, but above all, I am a climber. In 2021 I want to contribute to the team and give 100 percent. I also want to gain a lot of experience by adapting to the races and preparing my body to eventually win races,” the neo-pro said.

**

Qhubeka-Assos has brought aboard Lasse Norman Hansen and Matteo Pelucchi, while also extending Reinardt Janse van Rensburg’s contract for a seventh year.

Hansen has just completed a two-year stint at Alpecin-Fenix, but was not renewed when management determined that his road and track schedule — which includes the Olympic Games — was not compatible.

Hansen, of Denmark, is the 2012 Olympic champion in the omnium.

He will ride in support of Giacomo Nizzolo, the current Italian and European road cycling champion.

“I am very enthusiastic about the role I will be given and I hope that we can achieve many great successes. I also get the opportunity to represent both my country and my team at the Olympic Games. It promises to be very special,” reports Wielerflits.

The squad which takes over the NTT Pro Cycling license has also brought on fast man Matteo Pelucchi who had been on the Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè roster.

He and compatriot Nizzolo have a good history, and Pelucchi has expressed a great outlook for working with his new teammate.

Pelucchi said, “I’ve known Giacomo from an early age, so I can’t wait to work with not only a good friend, but also one of the best riders in the peloton.”

**

Gage Hecht at the 2019 Superprestige Diegem
Gage Hecht at the 2019 Superprestige Diegem. Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

American cyclocross national champion Gage Hecht will join Trek Factory Racing as an independent rider, and has his sights set on racing in Europe in the new year, if current COVID-19 restrictions allow.

“I will not fly to Europe if that increases the chance that I or someone else will get the coronavirus,” he said.

Due to the pandemic, all but five of fourteen cyclocross World Cup events have been canceled, and intercontinental travel restrictions have been imposed.