Fernando Gaviria signs for Etixx – Quick-Step

Mark Cavendish's nemesis at the Tour de San Luis, Fernando Gaviria, signs with Etixx - Quick-Step, along with Colombian climber Rodrigo Contreras

Fernando Gaviria (right) will be joined by fellow Colombian Rodrigo Contreras
(Image credit: B.Van Roy)

Fernando Gaviria, who twice beat Mark Cavendish at this year’s Tour de San Luis, has signed a two-year contract with the Manxman’s Etixx – Quick-Step team.

The Colombian sprinter, 20, showed his skills at the UCI Track World Championships, too, taking home the gold medal in the men’s omnium – an event he is targeting at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

>>> End of the road for Mark Cavendish’s Olympic track hopes, says Sutton

Gaviria is to be put on a programme which will allow him to be in peak condition for the Rio Games, according to Etixx – Quick-Step’s Patrick Lefevere, and may race as a stagiaire towards the end of this season.

“I am really looking forward to joining this team,” Gaviria said. “This was my first choice. I love this team and have followed them since I was a kid. I have strong admiration for Mark Cavendish.

“At Tour de San Luis I was constantly watching him, trying to understand his movements and learn as much as I can from him. For me it is super to join a team that is so skilled in the sprints, and provides a good structure for me to do my job and get better at my job.”

>>> Mark Cavendish’s rival Fernando Gaviria aims for WorldTour and Tour de France

The Belgian team also announced the signing of another Colombian, climber Rodrigo Contreras, who took the youth classification in San Luis.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.