Kwiatkowski confirmed with Team Sky for 2016

Defending world champion leaves Etixx-QuickStep

As Michal Kwiatkowski prepares to defend his World road race title in Richmond, Team Sky has announced the talented Polish rider will join the British team for the 2016, ending his time at Etixx-QuickStep.

The 25 year-old is Team Sky’s seventh and last new signing for 2016. The team has already announced the arrival of neo-pros Alex Peters and Gianni Moscon, as well as Michal Golas, Danny van Poppel, Benat Intxausti and Mikel Landa. Team Sky has also extended the contracts of several of its key British riders, bolstering its roster for both stage races and the Classics.

Kwiatkowski is likely to lead Team Sky’s attack on the hilly Ardennes Classics and shorter stage races. He won this year's Amstel Gold Race while wearing the rainbow jersey.

"Team Sky aim for the highest goals in cycling so I'm very happy that this move has become a reality," Kwiatkowski said in an announcement by Team Sky.

"Sir Dave Brailsford believes in my ability, which gives me great confidence for next season, and I know that this team can help me raise my performance levels and win big races. The team's marginal gains philosophy really fits my approach to cycling and I have great respect for what this team has achieved in such a short time. I am excited and motivated to race for Team Sky next year."

Brailsford revealed that Team Sky tried to sign Kwiatkowski on two previous occasions but was happy to finally secure his services.

"Michał has performed fantastically well over the past couple of years. We have been following his career for a long time. We have attempted to sign him on two occasions previously and weren't going to miss out this time around," Brailsford said.

"Team Sky can help him progress and develop both his one-day racing and stage racing. Michał is still young, a great talent for the future, and will keep getting better."

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