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Michael Valgren signs for Dimension Data in 'coup' for team

Dane to spearhead Dimension Data's Classics roster after signing two-year deal

Joe Robinson
3 Aug 2018

Dimension Data have signed one-day specialist Michael Valgren from Astana on a two-year deal. The Dane switches teams in a move to bolster the South African team's Spring Classics roster.

Dimension Data announced the signing of Valgren on Friday with the 26-year-old set to leave Astana after two seasons.

The Dane's reputation as a Classics specialist was truly solidified this Spring with victories at both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Amstel Gold Race.

Valgren also took fourth at the Tour of Flanders and 19th at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Beyond the Classics, Valgren has also proved a useful tool for Astana during stage races most notably helping compatriot and teammate Magnus Cort to his Stage 15 victory at the recent Tour de France.

Dimension Data will be hoping that the addition of Valgren to their roster will represent a change in fortune. The 2018 season has been relatively disappointing with the team, registering just three victories.

Marquee names such as Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen have been blighted with injury and illness, failing to chip in their usual number of victories throughout the season.

A change of approach?

A young rider, Valgren represents a change for Dimension Data. Historically the team has relied on older, experienced European riders like Cavendish and Steve Cummings to take victories while supporting young, African talent which is filtered through the team.

This model had begun to alter slightly with the previous signatures of Australian duo Lachlan Morton and Ben O'Connor and has taken another step forward with the surprising signature of Valgren.

Team principal Doug Ryder commented on the deal and how it could be regarded as a 'coup' for the team.

'Michael joining us is a huge coup for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka,' Ryder said. 'He’s been one of the stand-out riders in 2018, with his victories early on in the year backed up by really strong performances at the Critérium du Dauphiné and at the Tour de France.

'Michael signing is another step in our journey to the top of the sport, in particular, gives a major boost to our Classics campaign, where he showed such good form earlier in the year.'

Valgren explained his move, mentioning both the opportunities provided by the team and the wider mission of the Qhubeka charity.

'I’m extremely excited to be joining Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka,' the rider said. 'It’s a big opportunity for me to go to a team that’s keen on really building its Classics squad.

'I really look forward to working with the guys on the team and I see a big future there for myself.

'I’m also really proud to join the team because of what it stands for: its mission to distribute bicycles through the Qhubeka charity. It’s a super-cool mission and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that.'

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