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Arts

Cycling: Ineos sign Pidcock, Porte and Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) - Team Ineos continued the rebuild of its squad in the wake of a disappointing Tour de France with young British prospect Tom Pidcock, Australian Richie Porte, Colombian Dani Martinez and Laurens de Plus all confirmed as new signings on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - Stage 20 - Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles - France - September 19, 2020. Trek-Segafredo rider Richie Porte of Australia in action. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

With Adam Yates having already agreed to join and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome leaving, a new era beckons for the British outfit, formerly Team Sky, that has dominated the Tour de France for the past decade.

This year was only the second time in eight that a Team Sky/Ineos rider did not win the general classification as defending champion Egan Bernal blew out.

The signing of 21-year-old Yorkshireman Pidcock will give Ineos a potential Grand Tour leader in years to come while Porte, third at this year’s Tour riding for Trek-Segafredo, will return to work with Ineos Grenadiers boss Dave Brailsford, having been a Sky rider from 2012-15.

“Riders are better prepared and teams more organised. The intensity of competition is increasing and it’s getting more difficult to win,” Brailsford said.

Brailsford said former cyclo-cross junior world champion Pidcock was one of a new breed of all-rounders.

“We’re witnessing a new trend in cycling, with an emergence of young riders who come from a broader, multi-disciplined background,” he said. “Tom’s an incredible bike handler, a natural born bike racer, and a winner.”

Martinez won this year’s Criterium de Dauphine and a stage of the Tour de France and joins from American team EF Pro Cycling.

“We’ve been monitoring Dani for many seasons as he has impressed us from an early age and after his recent performances, now everyone can see why we’re so excited,” said Brailsford.

The 35-year-old Porte, a vital lieutenant during Sky’s early domination, will bring huge experience to the team.

“If you are building a team to be competitive against the world’s best then you’d want Richie Porte by your side,” said Brailsford. “We’re really pleased to welcome him back!”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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