Australian sprinter Steele Von Hoff will make a permanent move to the WorldTour ranks in 2013 the Garmin-Sharp announced.
Von Hoff has been a member of the continental level Chipotle-First Solar Development team for the majority of the 2012 season but was riding as a stagarie (intern) with Garmin-Sharp over the past three months.
“It has been my dream ever since I started riding to race at the top level in the sport and Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda is the perfect fit for my racing goals and moral beliefs,” said Von Hoff.
“They are going to work with me to help me achieve the best results I can over a long-term period, and have my best interests in mind while trying to achieve those results. Their commitment to clean cycling is something very important to me.”
“I have a lot of respect for the team and think I will learn a lot from the riders on board. I’m very excited to make it to the top level with the team I have always admired and respected.”
Von Hoff, who made the transition to Chipotle-First Solar Development Team in January after a breakthrough 2011 Australian domestic season with the Genesys Wealth Advisers team, has shown steady improvement as the season progressed, mixing it with the some of the fastest sprinters of the WorldTour.
He finished third on the second stage of the August 2012 Danmark Rundt (Tour of Denmark) behind Andre Greipel and followed that up with a seventh place on stage four to finish 10th overall in the points classification. Von Hoff also finished second to 2011 Road World Champion Mark Cavendish on the fourth stage of the Tour of Britain.
“We are thrilled to move Steele up to the pro-tour. He is an exceptional young talent and we will continue to help him grow, over time,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports.
“We know that he will be an important addition for next season — he already showed what he can do at the Pro Tour level as a stagarie through the fall.”
Von Hoff will be reunited with former Genesys Wealth Advisers team mate Nathan Haas who joined Garmin-Sharp in January.