The BMC team has confirmed that Richie Porte will join the team for the 2016 season, officially ending his four-year spell at Team Sky.
"We officially welcome Richie to the BMC Racing Team," team manager Jim Ochowicz said in a surprise statement from the US-registered team.
"Richie's addition to our roster for next year adds extra muscle and a wealth of experience. It also gives us the chance to separate and/or unite our strategies and goals as we see fit throughout the season."
Porte, 30, has won nine races this season, including Paris-Nice, the Giro del Trentino and Volta a Catalunya. He is ranked fifth in the UCI WorldTour rider standings and helped Chris Froome (Team Sky) win the Tour de France for a second time.
"I was close to coming to the BMC Racing Team four years ago," Porte said. "This time, it was a hard decision, but the right decision. Obviously, Cadel left his legacy with the team. When he was racing, it was almost like it was partially an Australian team. There were always so many Aussies at the races with BMC caps on. With them still having Rohan Dennis and Campbell Flakemore – who is from Tasmania like me – the team still does have a fairly Australian flavour."
Porte said his objectives for next year are straight-forward and include the Tour de France, alongside Tejay van Garderen.
"I want to win races like Paris-Nice and Catalunya again and I think next year at the Tour de France, why not have Tejay van Garderen and me there? We get along well," he said. "It is exciting to be going to a team where I am going to have so many opportunities for myself to win races."
BMC did not reveal any other terms or details of Porte’s contract. It appears Porte’s contract is just for one season, as the future of the BMC team for 2017 has still to be confirmed.