Carlos Sastre has tapped a veteran compatriot to help him during next year’s Tour de France with the addition of Xavier Tondo to the Cervélo TestTeam squad.
Tondo, 31, was linked to a deal to Astana, but the Canadian-backed, Swiss-based Cervélo team confirmed that it has penned Tondo to join five other Spanish riders at the team.
“It’s a dream come true. My principal goal for 2010 is to help Carlos Sastre in the mountains,” Tondo said.
Tondo won the 2008 Tour of Portugal and won the opening prologue at the Ruta del Sol in February. Tendonitis forced him out of the Vuelta a España while riding as captain of Andalucía-CajaSur.
“We are pleased to sign Xavier because we are convinced that he can adapt perfectly to our team,” said sport director Alex Sans Vega.
“Despite being 31, we are convinced that he can get even better. He had a great 2009 season, with six top-10s in weeklong stage races. He’s also very enthusiastic about how technology can be applied to the bikes, which will help us a lot in our develop of our products.”
The team has also signed Italian talent Davide Appollonio, 20, who rode as a stagiare with the team this season. He’s signed on with a two-year contract.