Team Sky has bolstered its ranks by signing Salvatore Puccio. The Italian, who won the under 23 Tour of Flanders this year, will join fellow Italians Dario Cioni, Morris Possoni and Davide Appollonio in the squad directed by Dave Brailsford.
“I think Team Sky is the best choice for any young rider in the world at the moment and signing for them has made a dream of mine become a reality. They have such a strong, positive image and I’ve been really impressed by the way they have organised their work in the few years that they have been around,” said Puccio.
The Italian talent has had a strong season at the under 23 level. As well as his Flanders triumph, he won a stage at the Toscana - Coppa delle Nazioni and took podium places at the Giro del Belvedere di Villa di Cordignano, GP Palio del Recioto and Baby Giro.
Team boss Dave Brailsford said: “Italy is renowned for producing talented young riders and in Salvatore we have uncovered a real gem. Not only will he have plenty to offer us in stage races throughout the season, he is also equally comfortable toughing it out in the one-day Classics and his grit and determination make him a hugely exciting prospect for the future.
“At Team Sky we’ll be doing everything we can to ensure he fulfils his potential but there won’t be any undue pressure placed upon him and he’ll be able to learn at his own pace, just like all the other young guys on the team.”
Puccio is the second neo-pro to join the team in the last two days after Luke Rowe signed a two-year contract yesterday.