2017 WorldTour teams preview: Cannondale-Drapac
Jan 16 2017 02:50 pm CET

2017 WorldTour teams preview: Cannondale-Drapac

On the last day before the start of the 2017 UCI WorldTour season, we take a look at Cannondale-Drapac.

Cannondale may not be the most discussed team at the top level of pro cycling but the American formation did perfectly fine in 2016 by finishing eighth in the UCI WorldTour Team Ranking.

Italian Alberto Bettiol, who was just 22 years old throughout most of the 2016 season, collected the most WorldTour points for Cannondale. He did so by finishing second at the GP Ouest-France and third at the Tour de Pologne, where he won the sprinters classification in the process. It will be interesting to see how the youngster develops in the upcoming season.

One of the stars of the team will of course be Colombian Rigoberto Uran. The 29-year-old didn't get any victories in 2016 but finished third in the Giro di Lombardia, the Giro dell'Emilia and Milano Torino.

These results, combined with his seventh place in the Giro d'Italia, led the team's directors to change directions when it's about Uran's further development. In the coming season, the South American will focus on classics rather than general classifications of grand tours, the team recently announced.

"We have analyzed what has happened in the first year of Uran at Cannondale. It was good but we have gotten to the conclusion that he has to ride races that he can win. The objective will be different now, he will go to the classics," said team manager Jonathan Vaughters to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

Also remaining on the team is American Andrew Talansky. The New Yorker impressed in stage races in 2016, finishing third in the Tour of Utah and securing top-five spots in the Tour of California, the Tour de Suisse and even the Vuelta a España.

It won't come as a surprise that Talansky is Cannondale's main bet for this year's Tour de France, and even breaking his thumb while training on Christmas Eve shouldn't keep him from setting high goals.

The squad should receive a major boost in the shape of Sep Vanmarcke. The Belgian makes the move from Team LottoNL-Jumbo (along with his compatriot Tom Van Asbroeck) and should be a big force for Cannondale-Drapac in spring classics. Vanmarcke finished second in last year's Gent-Wevelgem, third in the Tour of Flanders and 4th at Paris-Roubaix, and as such looks more than promising ahead of the upcoming season.

Vanmarcke was LottoNL's principal points collector throughout the season, finishing 18th in the individual WorldTour ranking, and his presence may just allow Cannondale to climb a few spots in the team standings in 2017.

More known names are set to join Cannondale, with Tailor Phiney (BMC) and Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural) both forming part of the team's roster for this season.

It wasn't all good news however. French New Zealand Time Trial champion Jack Bauer left Cannondale for Quick Step Floors and both Matti Breschel and Moreno Moser chose to continue their careers at Astana Pro Team.

In total, nine riders have left Cannondale-Drapac and seven new riders have joined, for a squad total of 28.

While a decent performer in 2016, Cannondale will want to spend more time on the radar in the upcoming campaign. With their new signings and strategic adjustments, they may just be able to do so.

The complete roster

Alberto Bettiol
Patrick Bevin
Nathan Brown
Brendan Canty
Hugh Carthy
Simon Clarke
William Clarke
Lawson Craddock
Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski
Davide Formolo
Alex Howes
Benjamin King
Kristijan Koren
Sebastian Langeveld
Ryan Mullen
Taylor Phinney
Pierre Rolland
Thomas Scully
Toms Skujins
Tom-Jelte Slagter
Andrew Talansky
Rigoberto Uran
Tom Van Asbroeck
Dylan van Baarle
Sep Vanmarcke
Davide Villella
Wouter Wippert
Michael Woods

By Jonathan Roorda
Image: Cannondale-Drapac logo





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