Peter Stetina has signed a contract for 2016 with Trek Factory Racing. The 28-year-old American joins the team as a support rider for the team’s overall ambitions in stage races, but also with a personal focus on the week-long races in North America.
Stetina fractured his right tibia, patella and five ribs in a crash at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in April when riding for the BMC Racing Team. He made one of the fastest recoveries on record to come back at the Tour of Utah and went on to support his team’s overall success at the USA Pro Challenge last week.
Stetina: “I’m stoked about this. It’s a good move for me, I think. Because of my injury my position on the transfer market was a bit different. Teams don’t want “damaged goods”, you know. But Luca (Guercilena) has been in close contact with me all along the recovery. He was very supportive.”
“We are very excited about Peter coming to our team,” says General Manager Luca Guercilena. “He will be a very valuable rider for us. I remember him as a key support rider for Ryder Hesjedal, who’s also joining us next season, when he won the Giro in 2012. Besides this, I think he has proven to be strong when given his own chances and we plan to have him at the American and Canadian races to defend the overall.”
Stetina: “I started the Tour of Utah on just three weeks of training. The suffering on the bike didn’t hurt so much and I finished with some really good sensations. A lot of people are asking me if I think I can come back to my old level. I believe I can and TFR is the right program to make the next step towards a full recovery.”
Guercilena: “Peter has been through a rough time these past months. We want to give him the opportunity to come back to the highest level of racing and show his capacity. We want to support him to reach his best possible level.”
Stetina continues: “I really enjoyed my time with BMC, where I have spent two great seasons, but TFR was the right move for the next step in my career and comeback. I’m really happy to join the team. It’s one of the top set-ups in America and in the world. I think it’s going to be a great move for my career. I’m ready for Stetina 2.0.”
“In terms of goals and ambitions, I had a very nice chat with Luca (Guercilena). We still need to figure out details, of course, but as far as personal and team goals go, I would support Bauke (Mollema) and Ryder (Hesjedal) in their races and then also target the American races as a personal goal.”
“Finally, I’d like to brush up on my time trial skills. I was twice the U23 National Champion and sixth at the World Championships. Since I turned pro I haven’t really progressed in that area and it’s awesome to see someone like Bauke Mollema not only defend his overall position since he joined Trek, but even move up in the GC, instead of losing places. I’m convinced Trek can help me improve my TT position and become a better time trialist”