Benat Intxausti will ride in Team Sky colours next season after signing a two-year deal with the British outfit. Intxausti is the fifth rider to be confirmed as moving to Sky next year, joining Danny van Poppel, Michal Golas, Alex Peters and Gianni Moscon as new signings.
"I am very excited to be joining Team Sky," Intxausti said in a team press release. "Since its creation, I have always been attracted to the way the team works, and have always dreamt of being a part of it. Joining was an easy choice for me."
Intxausti was linked with a move to the team as early back as July, along with the Izagirre brothers, but had also been in negotiations with his current Movistar team. His pending departure, however, became clear when he was not named among the seven contract extensions earlier this week. The move will mark the first time that Intxausti won’t race for a Spanish team, after racing for the likes of Saunier Duval and Euskaltel Euskadi, along with Movistar.
The 29-year-old has strong stage race pedigree, finishing 10th at the 2012 Vuelta a Espana and eighth at the subsequent Giro d’Italia. He’s also won two stages of the Giro, one of which was this season, where he beat Mikel Landa into Campitello Matese. In recent times, he has worked for Movistar’s leaders Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana. Intxausti could be a key support rider for Chris Froome but the team insists that he will also have his own chances to shine.
"Benat has the capability of two very important things in cycling - He can perform as an individual, and as a team player," said team principal Dave Brailsford. "His arrival will strengthen our team in the very big races, and Benat will also get opportunities throughout to perform in his own right."
Team Sky are set to announce two more signings. Landa has already confirmed to Spanish media that he will be one of them and the other is expected to be Michal Kwiakowski.