The 21-year-old spent three seasons riding in the colours of Colombian team Manzana Postobon, but joined Basque Continental team Euskadi for the first half of 2019 as part of the deal to gain more European experience before stepping up to WorldTour level.
EF team manager Jonathan Vaughters' interest was piqued when the Colombian climber won a stage and finished fifth overall, as well as winning the youth competition, at the 2018 Tour of Colombia, and the move was originally scheduled for this July, once Higuita had spent some time racing with Euskadi.
Already in the short time that he did ride for Euskadi this season, Higuita has won the youth classification at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, taken second place on a stage and finished seventh overall at the Ruta del Sol, and won a stage at the Volta ao Alentejo stage race in Portugal.
"Sergio is quite an exceptional talent. He's rarely been off the podium in any race that has an uphill section. We're pretty excited the UCI allowed us to bring him on board a little early this year," said EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughers in a press release.
"I don't really have the words to explain my happiness," added Higuita. "But now I have to keep going. It was hard to get here, but it will be even harder to stay here. I'm so excited to debut at the Tour of California. I'm looking forward to working for guys like Rigoberto Uran and Tejay van Garderen. I looked up to them when I was younger. To be able to ride alongside them is a big motivation for me to give my best.
"Quite a few teams were interested in me, but EF Education First were the ones chasing me the most," he continued. "I chose EF because it's a team that works together like a family, where exploring the world and seeing the beauty from the bike is most important to them. It's important to me, too, to be happy on the bike."
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