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As reported by De Telegraaf, Van Baarle’s extension with Cannondale had been an oral agreement rather than a written contract, and the 25-year-old had decided to look for other options when it was announced that the future of Cannondale-Drapac was in doubt for 2018 with the withdrawal of a major sponsor.
The team’s future is now secured thanks to sponsorship from EF Education First, but Van Baarle is still set to leave the team as Dave Brailsford reportedly expressed his admiration for the rider who finished a surprise fourth in the 2017 Tour of Flanders.
If the 25-year-old were to join Team Sky, he would be the British team’s seventh signing of the transfer window which has generally seen them turn their attention turn to neo-pros, with Kristoffer Halvorsen, Chris Lawless, Pavel Sivakov, and Tour de l’Avenir winner Egan Bernal all turning pro with the team.