Team Sky have bolstered their climbing armoury for the 2013 season by signing David López on a two-year deal.
The specialist climbing domestique, who won stage nine of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, joins Team Sky from Movistar on the back of an eight-year professional career which has seen the 31-year-old make 11 Grand Tour appearances to date.
“I am very happy to have signed for Team Sky,” said López. “As soon as Team Sky approached me, there was nobody else I wanted to sign for and I want to work as hard as I can to gain success for the team.
“Most of the time that will be for someone else, but if the chance arises for me as well, then I will definitely try to take it. The most important thing though, is that everyone is happy with my work.”
Team Sky directeur sportif Nicolas Portal, who was López’s team-mate for three seasons at Caisse d’Epargne, added: “I know from riding alongside David that he is very impressive on the climbs, whether he is riding for himself or riding for a team-mate. He is very loyal and hard working and we are excited to have him on the team.”
Team Sky also this week confirmed the signing of Italian national time trial champion Dario Cataldo, who won the Queen Stage of this year’s Vuelta riding for Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
And veteran Norwegian Gabriel Rasch of FDJ-BigMat, Movistar’s Vasil Kiryienka and Bontrager Livestrong’s Joseph Dombrowski have all put pen to paper in deals to join the British-based squad.
Meanwhile, Juan Antonio Flecha, Davide Appollonio and Lars Petter Nordhaug are all set to leave Sky at the end of the season, joining Vacansoleil-DCM, Ag2r-La Mondiale and Rabobank respectively, while Michael Barry and Jeremy Hunt are both retiring. Mark Cavendish is also expected to be riding in different colours next season, with Belgian outfit Omega Pharma-QuickStep the most likely destination.