Two big WorldTour transfers were finally confirmed on Thursday, with Vincenzo Nibali officially moving on to Trek-Segafredo and Enric Mas signing with Movistar.
Nibali has won all three Grand Tours, and in the twilight of his career, placed second to Richard Carapaz in this year’s Giro d’Italia. Nibali also took his sixth stage of the Tour de France on the shortened 20th stage in late July. Both Vincenzo and his brother Antonio are heading to Trek-Segafredo, which also boats Bauke Mollema, Richie Porte and this year’s Giro mountains classification winner Giulio Ciccone.
💥 Team News 💥
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) August 8, 2019
Movistar is undergoing a sea change, and its GC rider stable will look very different for 2020. Gone will be Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Merida), Nairo Quintana (most likely Arkea-Samsic) and this year’s Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz (allegedly off to Ineos). To reload, it signed 2018 Vuelta a España runner-up Enric Mas from Deceuninck-Quick Step, the team announced on Thursday.
✍️💪 El futuro está aquí: Enric Mas, uno de los grandes nombres españoles para vueltas por etapas, se une a Movistar Team hasta 2022 → https://t.co/JiZ1dqJ4KE
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) August 8, 2019
After a breakout season that culminated with a trip to the Vuelta’s final podium, the 24-year-old has had a good but not great 2019. He started out with fourth in the Volta ao Algarve before placing ninth in Ciclista a Catalunya and 11th in Itzulia Basque Country. Ninth in the Tour de Suisse looked promising for the Tour de France, but Mas had difficulties in the Alps and finished 22nd, utterly outshone by teammate Julian Alaphilippe.
Mas inked a three-year deal to, along with almost-40-year-old Alejandro Valverde, assume the Grand Tour heavy lifting for Movistar, with the team hoping that Marc Soler, the 2018 Paris-Nice champion, can step up his game in 2020. Soler’s best Grand Tour result from three is 37th in this year’s Tour de France. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Movistar makes another big GC signing before next season.
It looks unlikely that Mas will return to the Vuelta with the Wolfpack starting August 24. Nibali will contest the Laurentian Classics after the Deutschland Tour.