Van Baarle close to signing for Team Sky

Reports say Dutch rider will pen a two-year deal with British squad

Dylan van Baarle is on the verge of signing with Team Sky for two years, according to Dutch paper De Telegraaf. He had been set to stay with Cannondale-Drapac, but it emerged that the two-year extension that was announced in mid August had not been officially signed

At the end of August, riders and staff were told that they were "released from any and all contractual obligations for 2018" after Cannondale team management confirmed that an expected major sponsor had withdrawn from the deal and that the team's financials for 2018 were therefore not secured. 

Last week the team announced that EF-Education First would take over as the named sponsor, and that all 2018 contracts would be "enforced". This did not affect Van Baarle, as he had no contract, and had indicated upon the first announcement that he would probably leave the team. He then resumed contact with Team Sky, according to the report.

Van Baarle, who won the Tour of Britain in 2014, had drawn the attention of the British team by finishing fourth in the Tour of Flanders this year, with team principal Dave Brailsford telling the Dutch paper, "he is a rider who will take action every year."

It now "seems a matter of time before Van Baarle puts his signature under a two-year commitment to Team Sky," the report concluded.

Team Sky has already signed a series of young, up and coming riders including Egan Bernal, Pavel Sivakov, Kristoffer Halvorsen and Chris Lawless. Jonathan Castroviejo and David de la Cruz will also be joining the line-up for 2018. Mikel Landa, Ian Boswell, Peter Kennaugh, Mikel Nieve and Elia Viviani are all set to leave the team at the end of the season. 

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