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Egan Bernal signs five-year mega contract with Team Sky

Joe Robinson
5 Oct 2018

Colombian to race with British WorldTour team until 2023 season in big commitement

Team Sky have made an almost unprecedented move in signing young Colombian talent Egan Bernal to a new five-year deal. The team announced that Bernal would be extending his stay until the 2023 season having experienced a 'meteoric rise up the cycling ladder in his first year with Team Sky, emerging as one of the brightest young talents in the sport'.

At just 21-years-old, a five-year deal is quite the commitment from the British WorldTour team but they clearly see the potential in the rider to become the eventual replacement to Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas at the Grand Tours.

In his first WorldTour season, Bernal took overall victory in the Colombia Oro y Paz and Tour of California before racing his first ever Grand Tour at the Tour de France.

Despite his youth, he proved beyond his years acting as the chief mountain domestique to Froome and eventual Thomas in both the Alps and Pyrenees.

Bernal, himself, even managed to finish 15th overall and second in the white young rider's jersey despite a big crash on Stage 9 to Roubaix.

The rider commented on the deal and the scale of commitment that a five-year contract presents.

'It feels like a new stage in my life,' Bernal said. 'I know five years is a long time and that it’s not too common in cycling, but the team has been great for me. They offer me everything I could want and I’m excited about the future.

'I imagined my first year with the team would be different and I was nervous before I joined. But I found great people, a team that was ready to help me, and I enjoyed a good season. It was made easy for me.

'My ambition is to keep developing as a rider – to learn from and help the best and become a key member of the team for many years to come. For me, there is no better place to do that than Team Sky,' he added.

Dave Brailsford, team manager, also used this as an opportunity to praise Bernal and plot out the intent of Team Sky's 'new guard'.

'It is the clearest signal of our belief in Egan as a rider, with the potential to win the biggest races in the world in the coming years,' said Brailsford.

'Age is no barrier to ability. Egan is part of the next generation at Team Sky, our next big leader for Grand Tours in the years to come, as we continue to build for a bigger and better future.

'He is a top talent who has already shown his mental and physical strength in recent months. He will only keep on improving.

'We all know there is much more to come from Egan. He is a big part of the next generation of Team Sky, an incredible crop of young riders.

Brailsford also stated this signing 'is a strong signal of intent from the team about the future.'