1. Rigoberto Uran: Etixx-QuickStep to Cannondale-Garmin
Uran (above) was in tremendous early season form in preparation for his big goal of the Giro D’Italia, but arrived at the start line with a virus. That illness wiped out his podium chances but he recovered to take some good places on the final stages. In the late season he surprised by winning the GP Quebec, and then looked very strong at the Worlds. Those late season performances show that perhaps he is becoming more of a Ardennes style classics rider as he grows older even as he remains a very good Grand Tour rider. If he can maintain his new found classics ability, he will be the transfer of the season.
2. Daniel Martin: Cannondale-Garmin to Etixx-QuickStep
In almost a direct like-for-like swap with Uran, Dan Martin will be going to Belgian squad Etixx-QuickStep from Garmin-Cannondale. With the loss of Michal Kwiatkowski to Sky and relative youth of Julien Alaphillipe he will headline the team's Ardennes classics push where they will need Martin’s experience. It was another crash-filled season for the Irish rider, crashing at Fleche Wallonne to take him out of the classics, then crashing again at the Vuelta when he was second on the general classification. You sense the Cannondale-Garmin may have had enough of their team leader crashing at those crucial moments, which prevented him from taking any wins this season, and consigned Cannondale-Garmin to a poor year of results.
3. Louis Meintjes: MTN-Qhubeka to Lampre-Merida
In one of the bigger surprises of the off-season, young South African Meintjes opted to switch from his native African squad to the Italian of Lampre-Merida. It was a move completed before the confirmation of Dimension Data as the new sponsor, but you would have thought the young squad would have wanted to keep their best climbing talent on board. Nonetheless, Lampre-Merida were able to attract him to the team and they will be able to offer better climbing support for him in the big races. He took a number of good results throughout the season, but he saved his best for last with 10th at the Vuelta, confirming that he has the consistency to race for high general classification placings in Grand Tours.
4. Benat Intxausti: Movistar to Team Sky
Third in the Ruta Del Sol and fourth in the Dauphine this season, Intxausti has shown that he can compete with the best over the week long races, but he has yet to convert that into a key Grand Tour performance. He was aiming to do that at the Giro this year, but he was quickly put out of contention and had to take solace in a stage win from a breakaway, where he sat on IAM's Sébastien Reichenbach’s wheel up the final climb before jumping away to take the win. He will join the powerful climbing roster that Team Sky boasts, but his chances for personal glory will be limited.
5. Bob Jungels: Trek Factory Racing to Etixx-QuickStep
The young Luxembourger seemed happy at the American team, but has opted to change teams in light of Trek’s shift to a more sprint-focused squad. He is renowned for his powerful style of riding, and looks to have a very bright future in the sport. With a squad largely focussed on the classics, Etixx-QuickStep will be happy to give him leadership roles in key stage races. With his obvious talent it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jungels show up at the top of the results sheets in a few week-long races next season.