Jelly Belly signs former Giro stage winner Lloyd

U.S. team confirms Australian climber for 2014 roster

A former Giro d’Italia stage winner is headed to North America in 2014. Jelly Belly-Maxxis announced on Monday that it had signed former Australian national champion Matthew Lloyd.

Lloyd won the Australian road title in 2008, his second has a professional, and earned the mountains jersey and a stage 6 win at the 2010 Giro.

“Matthew will bring a huge GC threat in all the major races that Jelly Belly-Maxxis contests,” team director Danny Van Haute said in a press release.

Lloyd most recently rode with Lampre-Merida for two years, after his former team, Omega Pharma-Lotto (now Lotto-Belisol), fired him mid-season in 2011 with little explanation. On April 14, the Lotto team issued as statement reading, simply, “Recent incidents during the first races disputed in 2011 by Matthew for our team made this collaboration impossible.”

Lloyd will join the longest running third-division team in the U.S. on a one-year assignment, offering a significant boost Jelly Belly’s efforts in the mountains. He will start the Australian national championships this week.

The team also announced that it had signed neo-pro Andrew Sjogren.