Veteran Canadian rider Svein Tuft has signed a contract to ride for Pro Continental squad Rally Cycling for 2019.
The deal was announced Wednesday, and the 41-year-old Tuft will bring wealth of veteran experience to the North American outfit.
“My role with Rally Cycling will really be about support,” Tuft said. “I’ve done pretty much every WorldTour race on the calendar and understand the difficulties of transitioning from North America to Europe. The biggest difference is not in physical ability but it’s in all the other details of European racing. Distance, pace, technical ability, reading the race, lifestyle and time are really the main factors.
“So, my goal will be to share as much of my knowledge that I can and then within the race help them through positioning and navigating the European peloton.”
Tuft first turned pro in 2005 with Symmetrics, and later rode for Garmin-Slipstream, SpiderTech-C10, and the Orica franchise. His current contract with Mitchelton-Scott is up at the end of this season.
Tuft earned the silver medal in the time trial at the 2008 UCI road worlds and won a handful of time trials and team time trials on the WorldTour. In the 2014 Giro d’Italia, he wore the pink leader’s jersey on stage 2 after helping pace Orica to the opening-stage TTT victory.
“We have a lot of talented young riders on our team who are capable of making the transition to Europe and it’s important that we have a veteran rider with lots of European experience to mentor those guys,” Rally’s performance manager Jonas Carney said.
“For three years Danny Pate filled that role but with Pate retiring and our European schedule expanding, it was more important than ever that we fill that position. Svein was the perfect fit for us. He knows all the races, is well respected in the European peloton, can operate as a road captain, and sets a great example off the bike.”