The German time trial specialist will leave Etixx-Quick Step for Katusha on an initial two year contract

Tony Martin has signed for Katusha for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, after five seasons with Quick Step.

The 31-year-old was known to be leaving Etixx-Quick Step at the end of the 2016 season but he’d been expected to form part of the German Bora-Hansgrohe squad, which will be WorldTour from the start of 2017.

The announcement from Katusha praises Martin’s versatility in a range of races. He’s best known for his time trialling, in which he is a three time world champion.

His new team also highlights the German’s abilities in the Classics in the statement confirming his signing, as demonstrated by his stage win in the 2015 Tour de France‘s cobbled stage.

Riding for Etixx, Martin’s chances of leading a Classic were always going to be sparse but pairing up with Alexander Kristoff at his new team could open up a raft of new possibilities.

“I am excited to come to this strong team,” Martin said. “Team Katusha showed last year that it was a winning team and, honestly, I really like the Katusha jersey.

“Moreover, I also really like their Canyon bikes, and this is important for me as a TT rider.”

Pointing to the possibility of being able to go for his own results in road races as well as time trials, Martin added: “What convinced me the most to make the move was the fact that the team directors and the team manager really believe in me. I will be able to obtain more results than I have had so far. They have convinced me that I can still improve.”

However, he won’t be relinquishing his team duties entirely. “On the other hand, and like in previous years, if I can help a teammate win, I will be just as happy.”