Wout Poels has committed his future to Team Sky by signing a new three-year contract, keeping him with the British team through the 2019 season.
The Dutchman has been instrumental in helping Chris Froome win his last two Tours de France and brought Sky their first Monument success with a win in torrid conditions at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April.
Poels, 28, says he feels his best years are still to come and hopes to have a chance to develop into a Grand Tour leader in his own right at Sky.
“I think I’ve made a few steps again from the start of last year, and also this year with my win at Liege. I think I’ve moved on as a rider and I’m hoping to make some more steps again,” Poels said, quoted on the Team Sky website.
“The last ones are always the hardest ones – but I think I’m at an age where my strongest years are coming. So it’s really nice to also be in the strongest team in the world.”
Wout Poels’s toughest day
Adding: “It would be really nice one day to have my chance at one of the Grand Tours – like at the Giro or the Vuelta. That’s really a goal for me to do that, so I hope I get the chance and I can take it. But beyond that I just want to win races, and to win more races than this year. I’d like to get more nice GC results and to continue making more steps forward.”
Poels joined Sky from Omega Pharma-Quick Step at the start of the 2015 season, having spent five years previously with WorldTour team Vaconsoleil-DCM.
Since then, Poels has taken eight race victories, including one at each of the last two Tours of Britain, the overall win at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and the Liège title.
Poels leads Team Sky at Il Lombardia on Saturday, looking to become the first rider since Eddy Merckx in 1972 to win Liège and Lombardia in the same year.