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The most interesting pro cycling transfers worth watching in 2019

Joe Robinson
22 Nov 2018

Cyclist looks at six of the most intriguing pro transfers to look out for next season

Transferring away to pastures new is always risky business. For some, the change of scenery is seamless and the breath of new life leads to plentiful success.

Recent examples include Elia Viviani, who in moving from Team Sky to Quick-Step Floors was transformed into arguably the best sprinter in the world winning seven Grand Tour stage wins and a national road race title. 

For others, it can prove a disaster. Marcel Kittel, for instance, moved from Quick-Step Floors to Katusha-Alpecin and completely failed to find his stride, with just one WorldTour win all season in 2018.

We're already just 54 days from the beginning of the 2019 WorldTour season, which kicks off with the Tour Down Under, so Cyclist looks at six at the most interesting transfers for 2019 and what they could bring.

Fernando Gaviria - Quick-Step Floors to UAE Team Emirates

I am going out on a limb here by saying Fernando Gaviria is set to have his worse season yet as a WorldTour pro in 2019. It's a big call but recent history tends not to favour sprinters who leave the comfort of Patrick Lefevere's Belgian barmy army.

Just look at Kittel, who last season left for Katusha-Alpecin bearing the title of 'world's best sprinter'. A year on, Kittel has recorded his worst season as a WorldTour pro and is now widely dismissed as 'past it', compared to Gaviria, Dylan Groenewegen and even his Quick-Step replacement, Viviani. 

Lefevre has a record of moving superstar riders on at the right time and I feel he could be set to come up trumps again with Gaviria. I also think the Colombian is going to have a tough task of settling into a team that is still yet to find its feet since converting from Lampre-Merida a few years ago.  

Richie Porte - BMC Racing to Trek-Segafredo 

It's the last chance saloon for Richie Porte as he joins Trek-Segafredo for 2019.

By the time the Tour Down Under is over and the pro peloton has headed back to Europe, Porte will be 34 years old. By the end of the 2019 Tour, he will be older than compatriot Cadel Evans when he took yellow back in 2011.

We know he has the ability in the high mountains but it's bringing together the disparate components of three-week racing that the Tasmanian struggles with – and most specifically, avoiding season-derailing crashes.

If he doesn't win yellow this year it's likely to be the end of the road for Porte, and if so we'll be lamenting the loss of a rider who never quite fulfilled his prodigious Grand Tour potential. 

Tony Martin - Katusha-Alpecin to LottoNL-Jumbo

Primoz Roglic and Dylan Groenewegen are going to be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of German powerhouse, Tony Martin, joining their ranks for 2019.

Granted, he isn't the same rider who took four individual time-trial World Championships golds, but he is still one of very few riders who can produce big watts at the tail end of a race for an extended amount of time, just the ticket for a powerful sprint train or team time-trial unit.  

Martin will fit seamlessly into the Dutch team's Tour lineup and be a vital component of the puzzle that can flip between supporting Groenewegen for sprint success and Roglic for overall success, a rare attribute few riders have.

Harry Tanfield - Canyon-Eisberg to Katusha-Alpecin

Victory on Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire, second in the individual time-trial at the Commonwealth Games and second behind the Tour de France champion at the national time-trial. Not a bad season for the then-23-year-old Continental pro. 

So good that it has earned him the call-up to the big leagues with WorldTour team Katusha-Alpecin on a two-year deal, just reward if you ask us. 

While we are not expecting fireworks and WorldTour victories galore from Tanfield in 2019, we do expect him to become an efficient cog in a Katusha team trying to forget a limp 2018. 

Full of power and full of confidence, Tanfield will be one to watch for flying last-minute breakaways and pan-flat time trials.

Remco Evenepoel - Junior to Quick-Step Floors

Remco Evenepoel is the new Tom Boonen. No, better, Remco Evenepoel is the new Eddy Merckx. No, even better, Remco Evenepoel is the first Remco Evenepoel. 

The 18-year-old Evenepoel looked untouchable at times in 2018, such was his advantage over others his age, and this was no more evident than in his dominating Worlds double in Austria.

Now, Belgian expectation is at its usual dizzy height for the new Flemish wünderkid as he takes the jump to WorldTour level, although it remains to be seen how Lefevere will deploy the youngster in his first pro year.

Either way, it will be exciting to watch the future 'best cyclist ever' in his first pro season. 

Caleb Ewan - Mitchelton-Scott to Lotto-Soudal

Poor little Caleb. He spent the first six months of the year preparing for a race he had been told he would be picked for, only to then be told he wasn't going to the Tour after all. 

That was the last straw for the fast-finishing Aussie, who decided the time was right to pack up and move elsewhere, with a move to Lotto-Soudal for 2019 being the result

It seems a natural fit too, given that Ewan will effectively be replacing the departing André Greipel, so will have a pre-made lead-out train already set up and ready to go. It also helps that the team has also signed the services of Adam Blythe as main support for Ewan.

If he finds his flow, expect Ewan to be sprinting at his world-beating best more regularly in 2019.