More riders are securing their respective futures as 2018 winds down and 2019 looms ever closer.
Peter Stetina renewed with Trek-Segafredo following a challenging 2018 season, while Rory Sutherland and Rui Costa re-upped with UAE-Emirates. Stefan Denifl is the latest Aqua Blue rider to find a team with a move to CCC Team.
“Stefan brings a wealth of experience to the team and will be an asset at the Ardennes classics and the hillier Monuments, Milano-Sanremo, and Il Lombardia,” said CCC manager Jim Ochowicz. “We are looking forward to seeing what Stefan can do next year and we are excited to welcome the first rider from Austria, which is a key market for CCC, to the team.”
Denifl, 31, is the sixth rider from the now-defunct Aqua Blue team to find a ride. Calvin Watson announced his retirement while more than half the team is still looking for riders. Among the riders with contracts are Larry Warbasse (Ag2r La Mondiale), Casper Pedersen (Sunweb), Adam Blythe (Lotto-Soudal), Lasse Norman Hansen (Coreden-Circus), and Eddie Dunbar (Sky).
“The end of Aqua Blue Sport was a big blow for all of us. I was under contract until the end of 2019 so I wasn’t talking to any teams,” said Denifl, who won a stage at the 2017 Vuelta a España in what was the team’s only grand tour. “The rider market that late in the season is always complicated, so I am very happy to sign with CCC Team.”
Stetina, 31, also confirmed his renewal to stay with Trek-Segafredo for 2019.
“I’m ecstatic to continue with Trek,” Stetina said. “They stood by me in a period of difficulty. Trek-Segafredo still believes in me and that is inspiring. I aim to take a nice off-season, totally reset my body and mind, and return to the level I have shown in the past.”
UAE-Emirates, meanwhile, confirmed the continuation of Sutherland and Costa. Sutherland, 36, made his Tour de France debut this summer while Costa, a former world champion, endured a season hampered with a knee injury. The team loses Filippo Ganna and Ben Swift to Team Sky with eight new arrivals for 2019, including Sergio Henao (Sky) and Tom Bohli (BMC Racing). Despite rumors of Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) joining, there is still no official confirmation.