Astana’s Mikel Landa has sealed a two-year contract with Team Sky for next season, according to reports, beating the likes of Movistar and Katusha to the signature of the 25-year-old climber.
Rumours of Landa’s links to Sky have been floated ever since the Spaniard impressed at the Giro d’Italia, outshining Astana team leader Fabio Aru despite finishing just behind the Italian in third place on the podium.
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The final signatures on the contract between the rider and the British squad were settled on the second rest day of the Tour de France according to El Correo, who also suggest that Astana are not happy about departure of Landa.
The confirmed exit of Richie Porte, likely to BMC, may have been a catalyst for Sky to sign Landa, with a potential spot to help lead the team at the Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a España alongside the likes of Geraint Thomas.
Although the deal might be sealed between Landa and Sky, there will be no official word from either Astana or his new team until at least August 1, when the UCI’s official transfer period begins.
Landa is just one of the high-profile riders Team Sky have been linked with this year, with world champion Michal Kwiatkowski also touted to join the team from Etixx – Quick-Step for 2016.
Etixx boss Patrick Lefevere confirmed on Tuesday that the 25-year-old Pole would be leaving the team at end of the current cycling season.
Chris Froome’s 2015 Tour de France bike