Movistar put faith in Ruben Fernandez with new three-year deal

Movistar have placed their faith and commitment in Ruben Fernandez, handing the former Tour de l'Avenir winner a new three-year deal, keeping him at the team through to the end of the 2019 season. 

The Spaniard was already a pro when he won the U23 race, a sort of youngsters' Tour de France that is a perennial indicator of talent, and he stepped up to WorldTour level with Movistar in 2015.

His first year yielded some encouraging results but it's this season that has really caused the Movistar management to single out the 25-year-old as a key component of the team's future. 

"It has been a year of consistency and brilliance," read a Movistar statement announcing the news on Friday. 

Fernandez was sixth overall at the Tour Down Under in January and the Tour de Pologne in July - both WorldTour level races - as well as at the Vuelta a Burgos in August. But perhaps it was his performance at the Vuelta a España, his second Grand Tour after riding the Giro d'Italia last year, that sealed the new deal. 

He wore the leader's jersey after finishing second on the punishingly steep uphill finish at Ezaro, and impressed as one of the strongest domestiques guiding Nairo Quintana to overall victory. 

"He's one of the biggest sources of excitement for the Movistar team, and he shares that enthusiasm," read the statement, describing Fernandez as "one of the best climbers and future stars of Spanish cycling". 

In recent months Movistar's two star riders, Quintana and Alejandro Valverede, have also penned new deals that will keep them at the team through to the end of 2019. 

Movistar now has 27 riders under contract for the 2017 season, which kicks off on January 15 at the Tour Down Under. 

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