Fernando Gaviria signs for Movistar for 2023

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 Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)

Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)

Colombian Fernando Gaviria has been confirmed as Movistar’s new sprinter for 2023.

Gaviria, 28, will join the Spanish WorldTour squad in January after turning pro for QuickStep in 2016, then going on to join current squad UAE Team Emirates in 2019.

Gaviria has 49 victories in his palmares including multiple stages and a short spell in the lead in the 2018 Tour de France. But after a succession of near misses, mechanicals and further misadventures in the Giro d’Italia last May, his only victories in 2022 were in the Tour of Oman. In 2021 he took just one, in the Tour de Pologne.

Since the pandemic began, Gaviria has also been unlucky enough to catch COVID-19 on multiple occasions, twice in 2020 then getting infected a third time this February during the UAE Tour just when he was in top form. He subsequently broke his collarbone in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

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The Colombian has now signed for Movistar for one year, and said on Wednesday in a team statement he was delighted with the news.

“It’s a new challenge, both for me personally and also for the team as a whole,” Gaviria said. “I’m coming into a hugely prestigious team, which up to now has been very focussed on climbers.

“For them to put their trust in me, a sprinter, gives me a great deal of extra motivation, as this is about representing a team with a great history. The most important thing in 2023 is to settle into the team and I’m keen to get to know my teammates and form a great group with them so we can fight for the greatest number of races.”

Other signings already announced by Movistar earlier on Wednesday included neo-pro Ivan Romeo and Portugal’s Ruben Guerreiro, both with three year contracts.

A 19-year-old former Spanish Junior National Road and TT champion, Romeo has raced with the amateur Hagens Berman Axeon team in 2022.

Guerreiro won the Mountains ranking in the Giro d’Italia back in 2020 while with his current team, EF Education-EasyPost. He also took an impressive solo win on the Mont Ventoux Dénivele this summer, prior to abandoning the Tour de France because of illness. His signing with Movistar comes after breaking his current contract by mutual agreement.

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