Gianni Savio confirms merger deal and announces GW Shimano-Sidermec team for 2023

This season has been a very complicated one for Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli, which due to financial issues from it's main sponsor, was forced to let go two of it's leaders of the summer to keep the team afloat, and was for a long time fearing it's end. However, recently the news have been good for the Italian structure.

Gianni Savio, manager of the team for several decades, had announced he had been able to secure the team's future, albeit at continental for 2023 - hence losing out on the chance of continuing it's presence in the Italian World Tour races including the Giro d'Italia where every year they play an aggressive role. Recently Savio had hinted that it was possible to have a merge with a South American team, and the news have finally been confirmed.

“Our intention is to return to the professional level in 2024 through a transition year at continental level – with a project for young, promising riders,” Savio said recently. The Italian team is merging with Colombian outfit Colombia Tierra de Atletas - GW Bicicletas - Shimano, and will become GW Shimano-Sidermec into 2023.

The team currently hosts former World Tour pro Darwin Atapuma, and recently has signed Winner Anacona and Dayer Quintana straight from the Arkéa Samsic team. Whether these riders will be part of the new team is uncertain, but likely. The team has hosted several other World Tour and Pro Continental Colombian riders in the past, and with Savio's past and current experiences with scouting in the region, it is a match made in heaven for both sides.

“It is a formation that mainly consists of young Colombian talents. With this restart at continental level, I still have the same enthusiasm as when I started, about thirty years ago,” Savio continued. “Racing remains my great passion and my return to South America is a celebration of the continent where I have discovered many talents, including Egan Bernal.”

Although the team seeks to regain it's ProTeams status in 2024, for the coming season they will have a more modest calendar, likely more focused in the South American competitions. For several years the Androni Giocattoli team has been one of the biggest suppliers of young talents into World Tour teams, and to this day that continues to be the case as Jefferson Alexander Cepeda and Andrea Piccolo made a mid-season move to EF Education-EasyPost, Natnael Tesfatsion has been signed by Trek - Segafredo and all signs indicate young Ukranian talent Andrii Ponomar is joining Arkéa Samsic.

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