Team Sky have finally confirmed the signing of young talent Ivan Sosa after months of rumours.
Sosa, who had been linked to Trek-Segafredo before the deal fell through, will join the British WorldTour team from Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec next year.
>> Struggling to get to the shops try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
The 21-year-old Colombian has impressed this season within overall victory at the Vuelta a Burgos, Adriatic Ionica Race and the Sibiu Cycling Tour.
Sosa said: “I am really happy to be here.
“I am to keep improving as a rider and while it will be a learning process for me during my early days with the team, I believe I will fit into this group well and race to my full potential over the coming years.”
Rumours have been circulating since October that Sosa would move to British outfit Sky next season, but the team did not confirm the deal until Wednesday.
In an interview earlier this month, Sosa appeared to confirm his contract in an interview but there was still no announcement from the team.
Sky have now officially announced the deal after Sosa signed his contract earlier this month.
He has been riding with the team during their Mallorca training camp.
WorldTour team Trek-Segafredo announced in August that they had signed Sosa for 2019.
But sources later revealed the Sosa didn’t have a contract with Trek, but that a move to Sky was a “done deal.”
Sosa is a closed friend of young Team Sky superstar Egan Bernal, a fellow Colombian who also joined from Androni Giocattoli.
He added: “Having Egan here is a big boost for me – he is a good friend and someone I know very well.
“Having him and a few other South Americans in the team will be really beneficial for me.
“Everyone has been really welcoming to me.
“There is a nice mix of youth and experience within this team and they’ve all helped me settle in.”
Team Sky has been building close links with Colombian riders, as Sosa becomes the fifth rider from the South American nation to join the squad.
Race coach Xabier Artetxe said: “Ivan is a really strong climber.
“In the long climbs especially, he’s produced some really good performances, but there is so much more to come from him still.
“He will need time to settle in, to learn how we train, to learn how we race, but he has everything here to keep progressing as a rider.
“He has the potential to be one of the best climbers in the world.”
Artetxe believes that Sosa and Bernal’s friendship can help the young Colombian settle in: “He is really close to Egan, they know each other really well, and that will help him.
“Egan is a great example for Sosa.
“He will help him settle into Team Sky and help him continue to make improvements as a young rider with huge potential.”