Talented Slovakian twins Peter and Martin Velits are set to join Quick Step in 2012, signing two-year contracts.
As the first big names to officially leave HTC-Highroad, it raises more doubts about the squad’s future. Officially, it is still looking for a primary sponsor. Several of its stars, including Mark Cavendish, have been linked to other teams.
“I’m happy to become a part of such a prestigious team with great goals for the future,” Peter Velits said.
“It’s doubly satisfying if I think that I can continue riding side by side with my brother Martin. My objective is to continue growing gradually and repay the trust that the team has placed in me.”
26-year-old Peter recently finished ninteenth overall in the Tour de France, finishing fourth on the nineteenth stage to Alpe d’Huez.
The former U23 world champion came to the fore at last year’s Vuelta, winning the race’s long time-trial on the way to third place overall.
“Peter stood out to us for the good end-of-season he had last year and for the good performance at the recent Tour de France,” team manager Patrick Lefevere said in a press release on Tuesday afternoon.
“He’s a complete rider; with him the team is gaining an athlete who can potentially make it to the podium in the Grands Tours.”