Wout Poels has re-signed with Team Sky on a three-year deal. The 28-year-old, who told Cyclingnews in September that he would like to target either the Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a Espana in 2017, has been a key part in Chris Froome’s last two Tour de France winning teams.
This year Poels also became the first Team Sky rider to win a Monument when he claimed victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
“I'm really happy. The deal is also for three years so it shows that the team has confidence in me and I'm confident in the team. That's really nice. For me it wasn't a difficult decision to stay. I've really enjoyed the last two years,” he said in statement on the team’s website.
Poels signed for Team Sky from Etixx-QuickStep at the start of 2015 and quickly became an important player in week-long stage races and Grand Tours. His climbing ability, coupled with his attacking nature, transferred into the one-day arena but at this year’s Tour de France he was one of the strongest riders in the second half of the race.
“That was really amazing,” he said in relation to helping Froome win two Tours.
“I remember at the start of last season I wanted to go to the Tour and everyone was saying it was really hard just to make the selection. There are so many great riders on this team, so it was a big goal just to go and then to do a really good job over there. This year was the same again. It's really nice to work with Chris. It's really special that he's been able to win it three times, and to have been part of two of those is really nice. For me personally it was a really nice experience and I hope we can do it again in the future.”
Earlier this month Poels exclusively told Cyclingnews that, "I think the Vuelta might be better but I've done the Giro one time and I also really liked it there. We have to see."
Aside from his own ambitions, he is keen to return to the Tour de France and help Froome win a fourth title.
"I really like to ride for Chris and to work for him. I think it's a really good opportunity to work with a Tour de France winner. I've done that twice now and each time he's finished it off, which has been really nice. We'll see."