UAE Team Emirates sign sprinter Juan Sebastián Molano

Colombia's Juan Sebastián Molano will join UAE Team Emirates in 2019, with the 23-year-old signing a two-year contract, his new team announced on Monday.

The up-and-coming sprinter joins the WorldTour team from Pro Continental squad Manazana Postobon, where he's ridden for the past three seasons.

The announcement came on the same day that Molano won stage 1 of the eight-day Tour of Taihu Lake stage race in China.

He has already won the Pan-American Championships road race this season, where he beat Argentina's Max Richeze – best known as Fernando Gaviria's lead-out man at Quick-Step Floors – and won a stage and the overall title at the Tour of China I, as well as a stage at the Tour of China II, in September.

Last season, Molano won two stages of the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal, and was third at the GP de Denain behind big-name sprinters Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

"To be part of a team like UAE Team Emirates is a dream come true," Molano said of his signing on UAE's website. "To get to this point means that my hard work is paying off, and for that reason I feel calm and motivated, ready to give my best possible in the team.

"The year was intense. A crash in the Tour de Langkawi stopped me for two months, but I was able to recover well," he continued.

Molano joins a team where compatriot Darwin Atapuma has been on the roster for the past two seasons, while Colombian road race national champion Sergio Henao was recently confirmed as joining from Team Sky, along with the signing of Colombian neo-pro Cristian Muñoz, which should help Molano's transition to WorldTour level a little easier.

"I know [team manager Joxean Fernández] Matxin well," added Molano, "and I'm sure that I'll fit right in on the team."

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