Fresh from winning the omnium title at the World Track Championships last weekend, Fernando Gaviria has agreed a two-year deal with Etixx-Quick Step, the Belgian team announced on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Colombian is now tied to Etixx-Quick Step until the end of the 2017 season and told the team’s website: “This was my first choice. I love this team and have followed them since I was a kid.”
Gaviria overcame three former champions to take a mature victory in the six-discipline omnium event on Saturday.
He is already a known quantity in the professional peloton having last month beaten 2012 road world champion and now team-mate Mark Cavendish in two sprint finishes at the Tour de San Luis.
“I have strong admiration for Mark Cavendish,” said Gaviria.
“At Tour de San Luis I was constantly watching him, trying to understand his movements and learn as much as I can from him.”
Sprinter Gaviria signed up along with compatriot Rodrigo Contreras, with the duo joining their fellow Colombian Rigoberto Uran on the Quick Step roster.
CEO Patrick Lefevere said the team “respect and support” Gaviria in his wish to participate at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics on the track.
Meanwhile, Cavendish dismissed any suggestions that he was against the signing of Gaviria, posting on Twitter: “Contrary to what some shit-stirrers may start yapping, I’m over the moon that @Etixx_QuickStep has signed @77Gaviria. Welcome dude!” – Agence France-Presse