Italian rider Diego Rosa has signed a three-year deal with Team Sky, the British outfit has confirmed. Rosa is the fourth rider to pen a contract with Team Sky for the 2017 season with Owain Doull, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Lukasz Wisniowski already confirmed. French climber, Kenny Elissonde is also rumoured to have signed for the team.
Rosa, 27, moves to the team after spending the past two seasons with the Astana team. "Joining Team Sky is a dream come true and I'm very excited to pull on the jersey,” Rosa said in a Team Sky press release.
"It's a big step forward in my cycling career, and I'm sure Team Sky is the best environment for me to grow and mature as a rider. My ambitions are in-line with those of the team: to work hard together to achieve important results. I'm ready to support the team's leaders in Grand Tours and do well in the one-day races that suit my skill set."
Team Sky has been interested in signing Rosa since as early as May but faced competition from Bora-Argon 18 (to be Bora-Hansgrohe in 2017). Securing Rosa will boost Team Sky’s already enviable climbing line-up but also provides them with more options in the major one-day races.
Rosa was a late bloomer in cycling, turning professional with Androni Giocattoli in 2013 at the age of 24. His performances have seen him climb the ranks quickly, and he moved to Astana for the 2015 season. He took his first major race victory at the end of last year, soloing to success at Milano-Torino.
The 2016 season proved to be a breakthrough year for Rosa with a stage win at the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, a top 10 finish at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Criterium du Dauphine. He also made his debut at the Tour de France and went on to take second behind Esteban Chaves at Il Lombardia at the start of this month.