Two riders on different ends of their careers secured their respective futures in the latest moves on the transfer market.
Svein Tuft, 40, extends for one more season with Orica-Scott, while promising French classics rider Florian Sénéchal, 24, joins Quick-Step Floors.
Tuft, who hails from Canada, has been a stalwart since joining the Australian team in 2012, and will ride at least one more season. And he’s emerged as a key helper as the team transitions from a stage-hunting unit toward more of a focus on grand tours.
“Helping the young guys excel and learn gives me a great satisfaction,” Tuft said. “I’ve seen the team grow and adapt into the grand tour classification contending team that it is. As the team has been changing, I’ve also been adapting and growing, and I still have things to learn. I enjoy this process, and it keeps you young as a rider.”
Tuft turned 40 during this year’s Giro d’Italia, and provides the young GC contenders with a solid base.
“Svein is loving what he is doing and as long as he is loving what he is doing and performing the way he is, he certainly has a home here,” said sport director Matt White. “Age is no barrier with Svein. We’ve seen that this year at 40 years of age, he is certainly performing at the highest of levels.”
In other big transfer news, Sénéchal signed a two-year deal with Quick-Step. The Belgian team has been rounding out its classics squad with younger riders following the retirement this spring of classics legend Tom Boonen.
Sénéchal is part of a French renaissance in the peloton. In 2011, he was the last French rider to win the junior Paris-Roubaix, and in 2012 he rode as a stagiaire with Quick-Step. He raced with the development team the next season before turning pro with Cofidis in 2014.
“I have a special love for the classics and it would be a big dream to win one of these iconic races with this fantastic team,” Sénéchal said. He was 12th in this year’s Paris-Roubaix, a result that put him on Quick-Step’s radar.
Also, sport director and former pro Yvon Ledonais will leave his role at BMC Racing to link up with Fortuneo-Oscaro. The French team recently penned Warren Barguil to a three-year deal as it expands its budget and ambitions.