Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec's latest signing is a former Olympic cross-country skier, who they have likened to their former rider and 2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal after the Spaniard produced some impressive test lab numbers.
Martí Vigo del Arco will join the Italian ProTeam for the 2021 season, having only taken up cycling this year. Previously, he was a skier who competed for Spain at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Vigo is described by the team as their "new bet", with reference made to the way Bernal was spotted and developed before moving to the WorldTour and winning the Tour de France.
Vigo took up cycling after his partner, Lydia Iglesias, a fellow skier, did the same. She turned professional with the Cronos Casa Dorada team this year, racing La Vuelta Challenge. Vigo, meanwhile, has made a name for himself on the local domestic scene, winning the championship of the Aragón region in northern Spain and finishing 13th at the Memorial Valenciaga.
He was soon invited to undergo physical tests by Patxi Vila, who works as head of performance at Movistar, and the values were said to be "exceptional".
Vigo was picked up by the Italian talent scout and agent Paolo Alberati, who works alongside former world champion Maurizio Fondriest. After Bernal and Ivan Sosa, Vigo is the latest young rider they presented to Androni manager Gianni Savio, who, according to the team's press release "did not miss the opportunity to bet on a new talent, following the team's youth project".
Savio has made a name and something of a business model for himself in signing young talents on long-term contracts that include clauses for development fees, should WorldTour teams come knocking.
Vigo was described as "a story which is very reminiscent of that of Bernal," in Androni's own press release.
"When Alberati himself, at the end of an Agostoni Cup, presented him and proposed [Bernal] to various teams, Gianni Savio, without hesitation, also on the basis of superb physical values, was the most ready to bet on South American talent by immediately putting him under contract. Whether the story is repeating itself, it's impossible to tell."
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