Team Sky's new recruit Ivan Sosa will make his debut with the British team at the Tour Colombia 2.1 in February, saying in an interview published on the team's website that he is excited to start his first season with Team Sky and begin learning from "the best".
The talented 21-year-old climber was the subject of a transfer tug of war last summer after he was initially set to join Trek-Segafredo. He eventually signed with Dave Brailsford's team on a three-year deal and met his new teammates during a recent training camp in Mallorca. Sosa is now back home training in Colombia, where he'll join Chris Froome, Tao Geoghegan Hart and defending champion Egan Bernal in the six-day stage race that starts February 12 in Medellin.
"I think it's a team where I can learn a lot," Sosa said. "There is a high level here - I believe that these are the best riders in the world. So what better than learning from riders as good as them? It’s cool for a young rider like me to learn from these guys, who are already big winners, so it’s a great thing."
Sosa's breakout season last year included an overall win at the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain ahead of Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez, as well as the overall victory at the Sibiu Cycling Tour in Romania. He also won the Adriatica Ionica Race and a stage at the Tour de l'Avenir.
"My aim in this first season with Team Sky is to do things well, to train well, and if I want to ride a Grand Tour, then that is a bigger motivation," said Sosa, whose compatriot Bernal is already aiming at the Giro d'Italia. "I know I have the condition to ride in the key races, so for me that's a big motivation, to train harder every day to achieve the dreams I’ve had for so long."
Sosa is one of three Colombians on the 2019 Team Sky roster along with Bernal and Sebastian Henao. [Sergio Henao moved in the offseason to UAE Team Emirates]. Sosa said having two fellow Colombians on the team helps ease the transition from the Italian Androni Giacattoli Pro Continental team to the British WorldTour squad.
"Egan has helped me a lot," Sosa said. "I have to thank him because it is hard to change teams and not know anyone, but thankfully I had him and Sebastian, and they’ve said to just be calm and it’s all good. The team have been great, they’re all very nice people, so that’s cool and helps with settling into a new squad."
Starting the season with a race in his home country is also a nice way for Sosa to settle into his new team.
"Of course, the Tour Colombia is exciting because it means competing in Colombia and it's been a long time since I raced there, so it's something that’s really motivating, right?" he said. "As a rider, to see your people supporting you every day, telling us, ‘Go on, yes, you can do it.'
"So it's very cool and it’s something that also gives you a lot of motivation for the season."