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Beñat Intxausti, the highly touted Basque rider, has penned a three-year deal to join Team Movistar.
It’s the latest move by Caisse d’Epargne following the infusion of fresh sponsorship money from Spain’s Telefonica giant who will back Team Movistar going into next season. The team announced it signed Xavier Tondo of Cervélo yesterday.
Intxausti, 24, finished third overall at the Vuelta al País Vasco and is considered by many a future grand tour candidate. A solid climber, he can defend in the time trials and is showing potential to develop into a major rider.
“I am very happy about the decision,” Intxausti said. “I want to thank all the teams that expressed interest in me.”
Intxausti turned pro with Nicolas Mateos in 2007 and rode under the Scott-American Beef and Footon-Servetto teams in 2008-09 before joining Euskaltel-Euskadi this season.
Team manager Eusebio Unzue says he’s looking to sign more riders, especially from Central and South America, where Movistar is making a big push in those Latin American markets.
“I’m in talks with three other riders who haven’t signed yet. I also have to take into account that Telefonica has business in central and southern America,” Unzue said before Wednesday’s start. “I already have Colombians but I have to find a Mexican, an Argentine and a Brazilian.”