Italian Filippo Ganna, two-time individual pursuit world champion, is ready to join Team Sky for 2019 and a build up to the 2020 Tokyo Games.
La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper reports that the deal is done and all that is left is for the British WorldTour team to announce the arrival of 22-year-old Ganna.
Ganna won the pursuit title when only 19 years old in London in 2014 and again in 2018 in Apeldoorn. He just helped Italy to a team pursuit gold at the European Championships in Glasgow.
The idea is that Team Sky will help him build towards a world championship time trial gold medal and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where Ganna wants to help Italy in the team pursuit.
It worked for Elia Viviani, who raced for Team Sky from 2015 to 2017, as the Italian won the Omnium gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. Viviani now leads the sprint arm at team Quick-Step Floors, which announced yesterday a team around the Italian for the Vuelta a España.
In return, Sky would have another motor for team time trials, the Classics and in Grand Tours.
Ganna competed with UAE Team Emirates in 2017 and this 2018 season. Racing with Team Sky would make for a smooth road/track transition. The team uses the same Pinarello bike builder from Treviso, Italy, that the national team uses in the velodrome.
Currently, Ganna rides Colnago at UAE Team Emirates. Regardless, the UAE team is due to change bike suppliers for 2019 to Bianchi.
He could learn from the best with Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, who helped Great Britain win the team pursuit twice at the Olympics and the former national performance manager and team boss, David Brailsford.
The same group with Chris Froome could also help him towards his dream of a time trial world title.
He will not go unnoticed in the team full of stars. Ganna towers over the pack. Off his bike, he stands 6-foot-5 tall in size 47 or 13 shoes. This year, he is down four kilograms to 76kg or 167lbs.
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