Team Sky have confirmed the signing of current Spanish national time trial champion Jonathan Castroviejo as the British WorldTour team continues to strengthen its stage racing roster for 2018, when Chris Froome will target a fifth Tour de France victory.
Team Sky has extended contracts with Chris Froome, Michal Kwiatkowski, Geraint Thomas and key domestique Christian Knees in recent weeks but had still to reveal its new signings for 2018 after Pete Kennaugh joined Bora-Hansgrohe, Mikel Nieve moved to Orica-Scott, Ian Boswell switched to Katusha-Alpecin and Elia Viviani was allowed to transfer to Quick-Step Floors despite another year on his contract. Castroviejo is Team Sky's first new signing, with news of the arrival of David de la Cruz quickly following.
Team Sky and Castroviejo agreed a deal during the Tour de France but waited until today to make it official. The 30-year-old from Getxo, has spent the last six seasons with Movistar, where he helped Nairo Quintana win the 2014 Giro d'Italia, and the 2016 Vuelta a Espana. He was also the 2016 European time trial champion and finished third in the time trial 2016 Road World Championships. All his eight career victories have come in time trials, making him a key rider for Grand Tours that include team time trails.
"Everybody knows the strength in the team, and how important the spirit between the riders is to the team's success. I'm really looking forward to being part of that, bringing my own experience and learning new things," Castroviejo said in a statement from Team Sky.
"I have been part of Grand Tour winning teams in the past and I want to do that again in the future. I'm happy to be taking this next step with Team Sky."
Spanish Team Sky coach Xabi Artexte highlighted Castroviejo's versatility as a rider.
"He's one of the best time triallists in the world and in the last few years he's been right up there in the top three to 10 guys at the Worlds and the Olympics. He can win time trials and he can perform well in one-week stage races. He could also be one of the best domestique riders in the world and he can contribute a lot for this team," Artexte pointed out.
"He's always calm under pressure, and knows what to do and when to do it. He knows how to win the big races. He's got experience which can be a real benefit and he can bring some good ideas to the team. He will be a really good rider for us".
Team manager Dave Brailsford confirmed that Castroviejo and De la Cruz are the first of several signings for Team Sky for the 2018 season.
"These are the first of a number of new rider signings we will be making for 2018 as we strengthen our line-up with experienced riders with proven track records, whilst also seeking to bring in the best young talent from around the world to develop at Team Sky and play a big part in our future," he said in a statement from Team Sky.
"Jonathan and David are both in the prime of their careers. They have impressive results to their name already, individually and as part of winning teams. What we really value is their hunger to continue to develop, and to do that at Team Sky.
"We have a principle that riders should approach a race looking to win, supporting someone else winning, or learning how to win for the future. Jonathan and David know how to win across a range of different scenarios. They will fit straight into the team and, importantly, bring their winning experience to a squad full of young talent."