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Ineos Grenadiers complete 2021 squad with Martínez and De Plus signings

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Stage winner Team Education First rider Colombias Daniel Martinez celebrates as he crosses the finish line ahead of Team Bora rider Germanys Lennard Kamna at the end of the 13th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 191 km between ChatelGuyon and Puy Mary on September 11 2020 Photo by AnneChristine POUJOULAT POOL AFP Photo by ANNECHRISTINE POUJOULATPOOLAFP via Getty Images

Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling) celebrates his Tour de France stage victory (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Laurens De Plus celebrates overall victory at the 2019 BinckBank Tour

Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Ineos Grenadiers have announced the signings of Laurens De Plus and Daniel Martínez on a busy morning for the British team which also sees Richie Porte return after five years away and highly rated youngster Tom Pidcock join on his first pro contract.

De Plus joins after two years spent at fellow superteam Jumbo-Visma, while Martínez, who this season has won the Critérium du Dauphiné and a stage of the Tour de France, comes from EF Pro Cycling.

News of the negotiations over Martínez were broken by Cyclingnews last week, but the move still comes as something of a surprise given that the Colombian was on a three-year contract with the American team.

Martínez, who is represented by agent Giuseppe Acquadro, links up with a number of the Italian's fellow clients at Ineos, including Egan Bernal, Andrey Amador, Richard Carapaz and Iván Sosa.

"I have been making progress over the last few seasons and have been really lucky with the support I have had, but the opportunity to ride for the Ineos Grenadiers was too good an opportunity to not take," Martínez said in a team press release. "I believe this is the right time to try and take my career to the next level and I am hugely motivated to learn from the best in the world.  

"I obviously know Egan and a few of the other guys in the team too so it will be nice to continue to ride with some compatriots."

De Plus, a versatile rider who is strong in the mountains and in trials, had been the subject of Ineos transfer rumours since June, and so the Belgian's signature is less of a revelation than Martínez's move.

He's endured a tough 2020 campaign  having battled with illness, and has only raced two stages of the UAE Tour and the Belgian National Championships.

"I am really happy to have this chance. In the peloton, everybody talks about this Team and the way they have taken cycling to a higher level. I want to be a part of that. It was not an easy decision, of course, but riding for this Team has been my dream for a long time," he said.

"Last year's Tour de France felt like a breakthrough for me and I just want to keep going on that trajectory. I am looking forward to learning from the best Grand Tour riders and developing over the next few years. There is a super strong group of young riders at the Ineos Grenadiers and I want to be part of that as this group develops and gets even better."

Team manager Dave Brailsford hailed the two signings, saying he admired De Plus' versatility and adding that the team had monitored Martínez for several years.

"We are also particularly happy to add a rider of Lauren's capability to our team. We admire his breadth of ability and we want to support him to develop and reach his full potential both individually and as part of our team," he said.

"We've been monitoring Dani for many seasons as he has impressed us from an early age and after his recent performances, now everyone can see why we're so excited.  

"He rode a fantastic race at the Dauphiné and he showed what he's made of again with his gruelling stage win at the Tour. He is a tenacious, world-class climber who can also time trial and we want Dani to continue his success and be a key part of our future team."

Friday's transfers complete the Ineos Grenadiers team for 2021, with Adam Yates the other major name to sign for next season.