Colombian leaves Quick-Step after three years

Fernando Gaviria will leave Quick-Step Floors for UAE Team Emirates next season, with his new team confirming the signing on Wednesday night.

The Colombian sprinter has spent three successful seasons at Quick-Step since turning professional with the Belgian team, winning six Grand Tour stages including four at the 2017 Giro d’Italia and two at this year’s Tour de France.

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Gaviria was one of a number of riders at Quick-Step who began looking for a new team after team manager Patrick Lefevere struggled to find another sponsor for the squad going forward. However, even the addition of PVC company Deceuninck as a sponsor has seemingly failed to keep Gaviria in the squad.

Lefevere told Cyclingnews earlier this week that he did not “want to keep people against their will,” and that he could not think “too long term and into 2020 and 2021, so some riders start to talk to other teams.”

Gaviria, 24, will now join UAE on a three-year deal and is likely to take over lead sprinting duties ahead of Alexander Kristoff.

“I  change team after having always raced in the same group, which has given me the possibility to make the next jump to the highest level,” Gaviria said.

“With the new jersey, I’m not going to hide my desires and I want the biggest wins. I’m happy to be able to race with my countrymen [Sergio] Henao, [Christian] Muñoz and [Juan Sebastian] Molano.

“Thanks to the UAE Team Emirates for the faith it put in me.”

Quick-Step, who took over 70 victories this season, have regularly let big names go and placed faith in developing riders. Gaviria was the designated lead sprinter only after Marcel Kittel left for Katusha-Alpecin at the end of 2017, and the likes of Colombian Alvaro Hodeg and Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen will look to fill the void left by Gaviria.