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Young British sprinter Gabriel Culliagh earns WorldTour move to Movistar

Joe Robinson
5 Aug 2019

23-year-old set to move across from Team Wiggins at the end of the season on a two-year-deal

Young British sprinter Gabriel Culliagh has made a surprise move up to WorldTour level by signing with Spanish team Movistar.

The team confirmed that 23-year-old Culliagh will move across from the Continental outfit Team Wiggins at the end of the year on a two-year deal.

A press release issued today stated, 'The Movistar Team confirmed Monday that Gabriel Cullaigh has signed a two-year contract with Eusebio Unzué's outfit, thus becoming the Telefónica-backed squad's first confirmed addition to its roster for the 2020 season.'

'Cullaigh's signing helps the Movistar Team increase its aspirations at sprint finishes, a speciality the Brit, a great rouleur, has steadily improved at during the last few years.

'In 2019, the current Team Wiggins rider notched up one stage victory in the Volta ao Alentejo, a race where he had already grabbed two wins last year.'

Cullaigh is among one of the most highly-rated young British in talents in road cycling currently having taken impressive results across the past two seasons.

The Yorkshire-born rider finished 16th overall at his home Tour de Yorkshire in May, sprinting to fifth on the opening stage into Selby. Earlier in the season, Culliagh had also finished second at the Rutland-Cicle Classic alongside his Volta ao Alentejo stage victory.

The British sprinter will likely slot into Movistar's Spring Classics roster, which has simmered under the radar in its 40-year history with the team traditionally targetting the Grand Tours.

It will also come in a time of significant change for the Spanish team as the departures of Mikel Landa to Bahrain-Merida and Nairo Quintana to Arkea-Samsic all but confirmed set to shift the team's GC dynamic.

Cuilliagh will become the third British rider to appear in Movistar colours, following in the wheeltracks of Jeremy Hunt and Alex Dowsett.

While Culliagh is the team's first official signature for 2020, it is expected that Movistar will in time sign replacements for the departing Landa and Quintana, with Deceuninck-Quickstep's Enric Mas and Astana's Jakob Fuglsang believed top of the shopping list.

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