Up-and-coming Colombian climber Egan Bernal is thought to be edging closer to signing with Team Sky for the 2018 season.
Bernal currently rides with Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, an Italian continental team that recently featured in the Tour of the Alps seeing Bernal take the white jersey for best rider under 25.
The 20-year-old piqued the interest of WorldTour teams at the remodelled race but has been on the radar and was a close second in the young rider classification at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier in the year. That award ended up going to Quick-Step Floors Luxembourgish rider, Bob Jungels.
The news was reported by Italian sport news outlet, Gazzetta dello Sport, which claims that Bernal has made up his mind and is set to sign with Sky. If true, the British team will have fended off Movistar who were also rumoured to be in the running.
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It’s also been highlight that Androni Giocattoli have recently signed a three year contract with the young rider, meaning that some sort of financial compensation will be in order.
Unfortunately, mid-contract transfers aren’t the most common events in cycling so it is unclear what deal will be sorted between the two teams. The break from the normal etiquette of signing riders only goes to further highlight the potential that Bernal has.
The signing of the slight rider would show a clear indication from Sky that they are thinking about a time without Froome and co.
Geraint Thomas will hope that a good campaign in the Giro d’Italia could promote him to main man at Sky but in the long run Sir Dave Brailsford and co will be looking elsewhere.
Team Sky will be kicking off their hunt for the maglia rosa at the Giro on Friday.