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The two riders were meant to transfer on August 1, when the UCI’s official transfer window opened with Cepeda due to race the Vuelta a Burgos at the start of the month. However there was a delay with the paperwork and the rider was unable to make his debut at that time.
Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli team boss, Gianni Savio, had already confirmed to VeloNews last week that both riders would make mid-season moves to Jonathan Vaughters’ team and at the weekend the UCI updated the EF Education-EasyPost roster on the governing body’s website with Cepeda and Piccolo both listed in the squad. So far only Piccolo has been announced by the American WorldTour team.
Alex Howes and Lachlan Morton are no longer listed as part of the WorldTour team but are expected to remain part of the Slipstream organisation and form part of the team’s off-road program.
Capeda, 24, finished fifth overall in the Ionica Race earlier this year and second in the Giro di Sicilia. A strong climber, he also won Le Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc in 2021.
Piccolo, 21, started the season with Gazprom but was picked up by Savio earlier in the year when the team were forced out of racing due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The young Italian is seen as a huge talent and won the Ruota d’Oro – GP Festa del Perdono in 2021. He is also a former junior European and national time trial champion. He also won the Giro della Lunigiana back in 2019.
“For me, of course the jersey is a huge bonus,” Piccolo said in a statement issued by his new team.
“All the teams are good in the WorldTour but I was excited about the prospect of joining EF Education-EasyPost. It’s a big honor for me. The last two years have been really challenging for me,” says Piccolo. “But I am thankful for my family and for the courage they have given me to get here. This year, I have found a good path and I am really happy. Everything is looking good.”
Vaughters welcomed his new rider to the team, claiming that the young Italian was a huge talent with even bigger potential.
“Andrea is the best talent in Italy,” Vaughters said.
“I really look forward to seeing what’s in store for Andrea. My expectations are quite high. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won a pro race before the end of the year and shocked a few people.”