Jelly Belly signs former Giro d’Italia mountains jersey Matthew Lloyd
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Monday, January 06, 2014

Jelly Belly signs former Giro d’Italia mountains jersey Matthew Lloyd

by Ben Atkins at 5:57 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian expect to be a GC threat despite missing most of 2013 with back issues

matthew lloydJelly Belly p/b Maxxis has confirmed the signature of Matthew Lloyd for the 2014 season, and expects the former Australian national champion to be a general classification threat in the biggest races that the US Continental team competes in this season. The 30-year-old from Melbourne, Victoria, has spent the last two years at Lampre-Merida, but has not raced since March as he has continued to struggle with the back injury he incurred when hit by a car in February 2011.

“Matthew will bring a huge GC threat in all the major races that Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis contests,” said team director Danny Van Haute.

Lloyd took his national title in 2008, but his biggest results came at the 2010 Giro d’Italia, where he won the sixth stage and secured the mountains jersey. He was hit by a car as he was preparing for the 2011 season, however, and was fired by his then Omega Pharma-Lotto team in April of that year after failing to start the Volta a Catalunya.

The Australian returned to the WorldTour in 2012 as he signed for Lampre-ISD, finishing second in his national championship and riding the Tour de France for the blue-fuchsia team. He had a slow start to 2013, however, and - having ironically abandoned the Volta a Catalunya - has not raced since.

It looked like Lloyd was to be without a team for 2014 but, despite stepping down from WorldTour to Continental level, has been given a career lifeline.

In addition to Lloyd, the team has completed its 2014 roster with neo-pro Andrew Sjogren, who hails from Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis’ base of southern California.

“Andrew will give the team some good exposure in our home state races,” said Van Haute.

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