Team Sky has continued to strengthen for the 2013 season by signing Movistar rider Vasil Kiryienka to a three-year contract.
Since turning pro in 2007, Kiryienka has earned himself a reputation as one of the hardest-working riders in the peloton and his versatility will be of huge benefit to the squad.
Not only is the 31-year-old Belarusian a talented climber, he also packs a mean punch as a time trialler, and has claimed numerous stage wins from small breakaway groups.
The highest profile of those came in the 2008 and 2011 editions of the Giro d’Italia, where Kiryienka dropped his rivals on both occasions before soloing to victory with more than four minutes to spare.
The three-time national time trial champion has also tasted success at high-profile races such as Ster Elektrotoer, Vuelta a Burgos and País Vasco, and in 2011 wrapped up the overall title at the Route du Sud.
His 2012 campaign was also impressive, and saw him make his ninth Grand Tour appearance at the Tour de France before claiming the bronze medal at the World Time Trial Championships in Limburg.
Vasil Kiryienka said:
“I am very happy to be joining Team Sky and I’m confident I will fit in without any difficulty as there are people I’ve known for a long time in the squad.
“Team Sky have enjoyed a fantastic season in 2012 and I’m looking forward to contributing towards even greater success over the next three years, whether that means working for myself, or for someone else.
“With the help of Team Sky I want to continue developing as a rider. Everyone has made me feel welcome and I am keen to getting started.”
Sports Director Nicolas Portal said:
“Vasil has won some big races and put in some impressive performances at the very highest level. His stage win at the Giro d’Italia last season was phenomenal, and we were all impressed with the way he was able to battle on and take the victory.
“He was third at the World Time Trial Championships and has a lot of other victories to his name. He’s such a strong rider and is going to be a great signing for the team.
“He can perform very highly in his own right, or in a team capacity, and we know what he is capable of. It puts us in even better shape heading into the big tours of 2013.”