MTN-Qhubeka’s search for new signings continues with the team confirming that they are looking at a list of riders including Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) and Steve Cummings (BMC Racing). All three riders our out of contract at the end of the season with Goss certain to leave Orica GreenEdge after the team confirmed that they would not be offering him a new deal.
MTN-Qhubeka have been linked to a string of riders since the transfer window opened at the start of August and have been public on their hunt for three ‘marquee signings’. They signed Edvald Boasson Hagen from Team Sky this week with the Norwegian opting for the South African team despite varying degrees of interest form Tinkoff Saxo and several other WorldTour teams.
Interim manager at MTN-Qhubeka, Brian Smith, has been charged with rider recruitment, with team founder Douglas Ryder confirming that Goss, Farrar and Cummings were on the team’s radar.
“Those guys are on the list but we have quite a lot of guys on our list at the moment when it comes to building the stage race and Classics group within the team,” he told Cyclingnews.
“We want to go for stage wins and to show off the global element of the team. We need to get riders who can win more races and we’re talking to more riders but nothing has been finalised yet and nothing has been offered.”
Boasson Hagen represents a huge coup for the Pro Continental team. Although the Norwegian has had a difficult season he remains one of the most talented one-day riders on the scene and has proven he can work for others as well as ride for himself in the world’s biggest races.
“Boasson Hagen is one of the best one day riders in the world and he’s an incredible talent. He can win some big races in partnership with our other riders and he gives us a lot more options. He was quite a coup for our team.”
Ryder is not worried by Boasson Hagen’s recent slide in terms of results and believes that the rider could thrive in his new environment.
“You don’t turn a donkey into a race horse and he’s definitely a race horse. I believe that with the right structure and the right focus we can bring the best out of him. Like we did with Ciolek who was maybe slightly lost at QuickStep in terms of not knowing what his real focus was.”
“Boasson Hagen could have ended up in a situation like that where other riders took preference over him. With our structure and our culture I think he can be successful and get back to winning.”