Vini Zabù sign Kamil Gradek from CCC Team to help Mareczko in sprints

Cyclingnews
·3-min read
 Polish time trial champion Kamil Gradek
Polish time trial champion Kamil Gradek

Polish national time trial champion Kamil Gradek is the latest CCC Team rider to step down a level after the demise of the Polish WorldTour team, joining the Vini Zabù team to support sprinter Jakub Mareczko.

Polish shoe brand CCC massively cut back on its sponsorship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, after team manager Jim Ochowicz failed to find a new sponsor, he sold the WorldTour licence to Circus-Wanty Gobert. That left many of the riders scrambling for new teams but only Michal Paluta, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Fran Ventoso are reportedly still without a contract for 2021.

Vini Zabù have been linked with Fabio Aru as he looks to get his career back on track after three problematic seasons at UAE Team Emirates, with the Tuscany-based team teasing messages on their social media about new signings from the WorldTour. However, Aru has still to confirm his team for 2021, with Qhubeka-Assos and Bardiani-CSF also reportedly in talks with the Sardinian.

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Bardiani-CSF have secured Cipollini bikes as a key technical sponsor for 2021 and convinced Giovanni Visconti to leave Vini Zabù.

Vini Zabù team manager Angelo Citracca has also taken advantage of the glut of riders on the market to strengthen his team in the hope of securing a wild card invitation to the 2021 Giro d’Italia and other races. He signed Mareczko, who returns to the Italian ProTeam after also riding for CCC Team, and Gradek will play a vital role in his lead out.

Gradek, one of the tallest riders in the peloton, has ridden the Giro d’Italia in both 2019 and 2020, taking ninth in this year’s time trial to Milan. He is the current Polish national time trial champion after beating the experienced Maciej Bodnar of Bora-Hansgrohe.

"I am glad that after such a hard year for everyone, I found a team in which I will be able to continue my career at the highest level," Gradek said of his move to Vini Zabù.

"There are new challenges and adventures ahead and certainly a lot of chances to show my potential as well as ride for myself. I want to show what I can do and pay back my new team for their trust with good results. At the same time I would also like to thank all CCC for the last two seasons."

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