Johnny Hoogerland, the Dutch rider perhaps best known for completing the 2011 Tour de France despite suffering severe lacerations when he was catapulted into a barbed wire fence with a fortnight of the race still to ride, will be joining the Italian team, Androni Giocattoli, for 2014.
It’s one of a number of high-profile transfers during the close season, and one necessitated by the fact that Hoogerland’s Vacansoleil-DCM team has folded. It comes after GCN compiled its take on the 10 biggest transfers for 2014.
Those include Olympic silver medallist and Giro d’Italia champion Rigoberto Uran, who moves from Sky to Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Also moving there, from Belkin, is Mark Renshaw who will be reunited with Mark Cavendish.
Leaving the Belgian outfit are two French riders, Sylvain Chavanel and Jerome Pineau, both going to the Swiss outfit, IAM Cycling.
Having won the Coppa Italia competition this season, Androni Giocattoli, managed by Gianni Savio, is guaranteed a wild card entry to the Giro d’Italia.
Hoogerland won legions of fans worldwide in 2011 when fellow breakaway member Juan Antonio Flecha, then with Team Sky, was hit by a France Télévisions car which appeared to swerve to avoid a tree.
The incident also brought down Hoogerland, who despite needing more than 30 stitches to the cuts he sustained to his buttocks ended the day on the podium as the new wearer of the mountains jersey, and went on to complete the race.
In April this year, the unlucky Dutchman was sidelined after suffering fractured ribs when he was struck by a car while training in Spain.
Within two months, however, he had become Dutch national road champion, and will take that jersey with him to his new team for the opening months of the 2014 season.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.