Team Sky sign Pavel Sivakov

Young Russian agrees three-year deal

Team Sky has announced the signing of Baby Giro winner Pavel Sivakov on a three-year contract. The news comes a day after they confirmed that they had snapped up Tour de l'Avenir winner Egan Bernal.

The 20-year-old Sivakov has been riding with the BMC Development Team for the past two seasons, and was heavily linked with a move to the WorldTour after a hugely impressive season, which has seen him take the overall title at the Baby Giro, the Ronde de l'Isard and the Giro della Valla d'Aosta Mont Blanc. He had been one of the favourites for the overall classification at the Tour de l'Avenir but suffered a poor day in the mountains on stage 7. He bounced back to take victory on the final stage by more than two minutes over his nearest challenger Neilson Powless of the USA.

"Really, signing for Team Sky is a dream for me. I'm sure that I am going to learn so much from the guys next year and I'm really looking forward to it," Sivakov said in a team press release. "It's definitely a big step up. The team have told me there is no pressure and that I can focus on developing and learning, but I'm excited to be involved and to play my part in the team.

"I feel that Team Sky is where I can make the most progress and become the best rider I can be. I'm also very interested in the innovation side of the sport, and so that made Team Sky a good choice for me, knowing how there is a focus on that. I'm really interested in being part of that."

Russian by descent, Sivakov was born in Italy but spent most of his formative years in France. He continues to live and train in France. His father Alexei Sivakov is a former professional cyclist, who competed in three Tours de France with BigMat-Auber 93 and retired in 2005. His mother, Aleksandra Koliaseva, was also a professional and won the team time trial World Championship with Russia on two separate occasions. In addition to Sivakov's successes this season, Sivakov has won the junior Tour of Flanders, the junior Tour of Austria and finished runner up at the 2016 Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

"I've known Pavel for a few years. He has a good pedigree as both his parents were cyclists," said Team Sky DS Nicolas Portal. "He grew up at the foot of the Pyrenees, which might help to explain why he's such a good climber. He's also a really strong time triallist. He was a very good junior rider, and he has progressed to become one of the very best under-23 riders in the world.

"Pavel is a really nice guy. He's passionate about our sport, he's committed, and he's motivated to succeed. He has all the qualities needed to become one of the best in the world."

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