Having lost Rigoberto Uran to Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Team Sky have snapped up 29-year-old Spaniard Mikel Nieve from the now defunct Euskaltel-Euskadi. A strong climber, Nieve briefly wore the polka dot jersey at the Tour de France after several impressive rides in the mountains. Nieve was sixth in stage eight – the day Chris Froome blew the General Classification apart on Ax 3 Domaines – third behind Froome on Mont Ventoux, and ninth after the double ascent of Alpe d’Huez.
With Froome bidding for another Tour de France win, and his chief lieutenant Richie Porte targeting Giro d’Italia success, Nieve is likely to be an extremely important domestique in the mountains to one or both of them during the season. Like Froome and Porte before him, Nieve could also progress to team leader himself having already secured two top-ten finishes at both the Giro and the Vuelta a Espana, alongside overall 12th at this year’s Tour.