Rolland joins Cannondale-Garmin for 2016

The Frenchman will help fill the void left by the departing Ryder Hesjedal on the U.S.-based team.

Pierre Rolland, the French rider who won atop Alpe d’Huez in 2011, will join Cannondale-Garmin for 2016.

The 28-year-old Rolland, currently racing at the Vuelta a España with Europcar, is a consistent grand tour performer, with a fourth overall at the 2014 Giro d’Italia and an eighth at the 2012 Tour de France.

“I believe that for all of his talent, he still has untapped potential,” said Cannondale-Garmin CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “We hope to bring some work in aerodynamics and a bit of fresh air to help him maximize that potential, while retaining that panache and style that make him the great rider he is.”

The news comes a day after Ryder Hesjedal announced he would join Trek Factory Racing for 2016. Rolland’s arrival will help fill that hole in the team’s GC ambitions, and he will slot in beside Andrew Talansky in the grand tours.

Vaughters said an experienced rider such as Rolland will help stabilize his otherwise young squad for the coming season.

“We have an exceptionally talented roster of young riders,” Vaughters said. “What we need to continue to build is leadership for the young guys by giving them experienced riders that they can learn from to better harness their own talents — and Rolland brings that in spades.”

Other riders confirmed to join Cannondale for 2016 include young Dutch sprinter Wouter Wippert (Drapac), Mike Woods (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), Patrick Bevin (Avanti), and Ryan Mullen (An Post-Chain Reaction).