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Mikel Landa moves to Bahrain-Merida and Elia Viviani signs with Cofidis for 2020

Transfer season gaining momentum

The pro peloton’s transfer season is gaining momentum with the biggest moves so far announced on Monday: Mikel Landa signed with UAE-Emirates for two years, while Elia Viviani joined Cofidis. Landa’s move will only fuel speculation that Vincenzo Nibali will move on in the twilight of his career. Viviani’s switch to Cofidis bolsters the team’s chance of rejoining the WorldTour after 11 years at Pro Continental status.

Since his first WorldTour team Euskatel-Euskadi, Landa has bounced around every two years. First he raced for Astana, memorably taking third in the 2015 Giro d’Italia while helping Fabio Aru to the title. In 2016 and 2017 he served Sky, where he was so strong in helping Chris Froome win his fourth Tour de France that fans coined the phrase “Free Landa”. Lately, Landa has been part of the so-called “Trident”, a combination with Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. Landa was the best of the three in this year’s Tour, placing sixth.

Elia Viviani won the WorldTour Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday, his 25th triumph as a member of Deceuninck-Quick Step. Viviani earned four wins in the 2018 Giro d’Italia. Before Quick Step, the Italian champion was an unsettled member of Sky and also plied his trade with Cannondale/Liquigas.

On Friday, CCC announced that Italian Matteo Trentin is joining the win-starved squad from Mitchelton-Scott. Trentin’s victory in the 17th stage of the Tour de France was his third in that race. In 2017 the European champion took four stages of the Vuelta a España.

Fans of Rally will be happy for 21-year-old American Brandon McNulty who will race for UAE-Emirates for three years. The man from Phoenix, Arizona was the Junior world time trial champion in 2016 and was silver medalist in the U23 chrono the next year.