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Weening back in WorldTour, Riccitello signs deal

Trek-Segafredo bolsters support bench, Hagens Berman Axeon confirms first signing for 2021.

Pieter Weening, a winner of stages at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, is back in the WorldTour.

The 39-year-old Dutch veteran will join Trek-Segafredo for the remainder of 2020 to bolster the team’s grand tour squad ahead of what looks to be a compressed racing calendar set to resume in August.

“I’m really happy for this opportunity and will give 150 percent in these last months of the year to fully help Trek-Segafredo,” he said Friday. “Hopefully, I can contribute to achieving great results for the team once the racing restarts. I know I’m still competitive at a WorldTour level, and my motivation is super high. This will be a new team, new guys, new atmosphere, but I’m looking forward to this challenge and returning to competition.”

Weening turned pro in 2004 and raced at the WorldTour-level with Rabobank and Orica-GreenEdge through 2015,  before joining the now-defunct Roompot-Charles. With 13 professional wins, Weening ended 2019 without a contract. He kept training hard over the winter with hopes of finding an opening with a team.

Trek-Segafredo’s general manager Luca Guercilena said Weening will help the team in a rare mid-season signing.

“We first got in touch with Pieter back in February. Knowing that, after his crash, Matteo Moschetti would be out for an extended period, so we needed an experienced rider who would be able to fit in the group and be ready to race immediately,” Guercilena said. “Pieter is known to be a super professional rider, and we were convinced he would be able to meet our expectations. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the recruitment process but, despite these turbulent times for cycling, we were determined to keep our word and welcome Pieter as part of the team.”

Hagens Berman Axeon signs Riccitello

Hagens Berman Axeon confirmed its first signing for 2021, announcing that Matthew Riccitello will join in 2021 in a two-year deal. The 18-year-old American will join the team with a long pedigree of developing young talent.

“Honored to be part of a team that’s produced some of the best riders in the world,” Riccitello wrote on Twitter. Second to Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) in the U.S. national junior time trial championship, Riccitello also finished second in the Tour de l’Abitibi in Canada in 2019.

Hagens Berman Axeon has produced a steady stream of riders entering the WorldTour, with recent “graduates” including Tao Geoghegan Hart and Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos), Jasper Philipsen and Mikkel Bjerg (UAE-Emirates), Ian Garrison (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), and Neilson Powless (EF Pro Cycling).