Vastaranta earns his spurs

Followers of procycling's Fab Four will be delighted to learn that Jukka Vastaranta has been handed

Followers of procycling’s Fab Four will be delighted to learn that Jukka Vastaranta has been handed

Former junior World Cup winner Jukka Vastaranta will graduate from Rabobank’s under-23 team to their senior outfit in 2005, procycling can confirm. Regular procycling contributor Jukka has signed a two-year contract with the Dutch squad. He will take his place in the Pro Tour alongside fellow products of Rabobank’s feeder team, Theo Eltink, Thomas Dekker and Australian Rory Sutherland, and also new signings Denis Menchov and Pedro Horrillo Mu¤oz. The 20-year-old “Vasta”, winner of six races this season, told procycling on Wednesday: “I am delighted to be moving up to the senior team. In the next few weeks I will sit down with the team’s management to discuss my race programme for next year. I can climb and sprint, so hilly Classics, like those in the Ardennes, suit me best. “For now I am concentrating on the world championships in Verona,” Vastaranta, from Finland’s second city, Tampere, continued. “On paper, the under-23 road race course looks very difficult. Hopefully it won’t be too hilly for me. The riders to watch? The Italians and my Rabobank team-mate Thomas Dekker.” In other transfer news, the Panaria team has confirmed to procycling that Giuliano Figueras will ride for Saeco next season. Saeco, who are still anxiously awaiting news of their Pro Tour licence application, have also snapped up Phonak’s Daniele Bennati and veteran Alessio rider Alessandro Bertolini.