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PARIS (AFP) — Italian rider Diego Rosa has joined Team Sky on a three-year deal, the British team announced on Thursday.
The 27-year-old, who had been with Astana, stood out this year by winning a stage on the Tour of the Basque Country and also came second in Il Lombardia. Rosa has also finished each of the three grand tours during his four-year career, which began with Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela.
Rated as “one of the best climbers” in the peloton by Sky chief Dave Brailsford, Rosa will play a supporting role to the team’s main rider Chris Froome.
“It’s a big step forward in my cycling career, and I’m sure Team Sky is the best environment for me to grow and mature as a rider,” Rosa said.
This week, Sky signed a second strong climber, Frenchman Kenny Elissonde, who won stage 20 at the 2013 Vuelta atop the Alto de l’Angliru. The 25-year-old has a two-year deal with Sky after six seasons in the French FDJ outfit.
“It’s well known that Team Sky is one of the best teams in the world for climbers. I will learn a lot from all the staff and it’s really exciting to be with the team,” Elissonde said. “It’s very cool to be the first French rider on the team for six years. This is a great opportunity for me.”