Team Ineos sign 18-year-old Carlos Rodríguez
Team Ineos have signed 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Rodríguez, who will skip the U23 ranks and head straight to the WorldTour on a four-year contract.
Spaniard Rodriguez is tipped as one of the best riders of his age, and for the past two years has ridden for the Kometa development team set up by Alberto Contador.
He has won the Spanish junior time trial title two years in a row and this year claimed the Tour de Gironde stage race and Gipuzko Klasika one-day race.
He finished 34th at this year's World Championships in the junior men's time trial and 24th in the road race.
"Carlos has achieved some really good results in Spanish races and in the last two or three years he’s been one of, if not the best rider of his age," said Team Ineos directeur sportif Xabier Artetxe.
"He was really motivated and he had all the options in his hands. He chose this one – to become a WorldTour rider and develop step by step. The most important thing is to have a really clear focus on where he is now, and where he’s going in the future. it’s going to be a big step and a challenge. We need to take care of him."
arlos Cano Rodriguez of Spain / during the 25th UEC Road European ChampionshipsGetty Images
"I am under no illusions – it is a big step up to the professional level," he said.
"The training is going to be harder and the races much faster. I think that if I work hard, step-by-step, I can progress and adapt myself to the WorldTour. That’s my main objective for the next few seasons and I’m in the best place to do that.
"You can see that young riders are doing so well within this team. They are surrounded by the best people and it’s the best option to develop myself as a cyclist."