Bertizzolo inks two-year deal with Movistar after Virtu folds

Sofia Bertizzolo has signed a two-year contract with the Movistar women's team that will taking her through to the end of 2021. She currently races for Team Virtu Cycling, but was left without a team for next season when Bjarne Riis announced he would shut down the women's programme at the end of the year.

"Sofia's signing was a priority for us coming into next season," said Movistar manager Sebastián Unzué. "She's a really exciting addition for us, with an enormous margin for progression, and arguably one of the biggest up-and-coming talents in the sport.

"She is able to perform strongly at races as different as De Ronde, the Ardennes, sprint finishes, or becoming the best young rider in the Giro at just 20 – those are impressive results for her age, and we're so proud to have talents like her with us for next season. We just hope she continues to learn, grow and improve, so we can do great things together in the future."

Bertizzolo, 21, is currently ranked third in the Women's WorldTour youth classification. She won the series' youth award last year after winning the young rider classification at the Giro Rosa and placing on the podium in the same classification at the Boels Ladies Tour. She was also on the youth classification podium at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and the Giro Toscana.

This season she was fourth at the Tour of Flanders, second on the opening stage at Emakumeen Bira, and took top-10 stage finishes at the OVO Energy Women's Tour.

Movistar recently announced that they had re-signed a core group of four riders for next season: Alicia González, Sheyla Gutiérrez, Lourdes Oyarbide and Gloria Rodríguez. They've also signed three other new riders, with Barbara Guarischi and Katrine Aalrud also joining from Team Virtu, along with Jelena Erić from Alé Cipollini.

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