Team Sky have announced that Tour de L’Avenir winner Egan Bernal will ride for the team from next season.
Bernal took overall victory at the Tour de L’Avenir, which finished today, along with back to back stage wins. His victory at under 23 cycling’s most prestigious race has cemented his reputation as one of the brightest prospects in cycling, having quickly amassed an impressive palmares in just two years as a pro.
In addition to his win at the Tour de L’Avenir, Bernal also took overall victory at the Sibiu Cycling Tour and Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc.
Set to make the step up to the WorldTour in 2018 with Team Sky, Bernal has already begun to crack the top 10 of pro stage races at just 20 years of age.
After fourth place at Settimana Coppi e Bartali riding for Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec, Team Sky were able to witness the talent of Bernal first hand at this season’s Tour of the Alps, which saw him pick up ninth place overall in a star-studded field, securing the young rider’s jersey in the process.
Bernal said: “I always dreamed of being with this team. I never thought the opportunity to join would come this fast, so to sign for Team Sky is a dream come true.
“My first goal with Team Sky is to learn. I want to learn from my teammates and take advantage of the experience that there is in the team. I’m excited to be joining Team Sky and I want to contribute as much as I can.”
Sports Director Dario Cioni, who guided Team Sky from the race car at the Tour of the Alps this year, said: “Egan showed really good things last year at Coppi e Bartali and was very impressive for such a young rider. He was consistent and he achieved a lot of good results last year. He’s continued that into this season and has put in some really strong performances.
“He has shown his ability, nowhere more so than with his performances at the Tour de L’Avenir. We are sure we can help him develop over the next years into someone who can become a leader for stage races”.
Team Sky coach Xabi Artexte is equally as excited about Bernal’s arrival at Team Sky.
“Egan has so much potential. He has only really spent two years on the road as he came over from mountain biking. His progress in that short period has been excellent, but it means he has so much capacity to get even better as he builds his experience.
“We’re really looking forward to having him as part of our group. It’s exciting for us to have another Colombian rider joining us. The support they get from the Colombian fans is fantastic and is really good for the sport.
“He’s a young rider and his progress will continue as he gets physically stronger. He’ll have time to continue his development with the team and learn everything about how to be the best he can be at the top level. Egan is a very exciting rider”.