London (AFP) - Highly-regarded young Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal has committed himself to Team Sky in the long term, signing a new five-year contract on Friday.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a successful first season with the cycling powerhouse, winning the Tour of California and playing a key support role in Geraint Thomas's Tour de France triumph.
"I'm very happy to sign a new contract with Team Sky," Bernal said in a statement posted on the team website.
"It feels like a new stage in my life.
"I know five years is a long time and that it's not too common in cycling, but the team has been great for me.
"They offer me everything I could want and I'm excited about the future."
Dave Brailsford, the Team Principal, said the length of the contract reflected the faith they had in the potential of Bernal.
"This is an important moment in the development of the team," said Brailsford.
"A five-year deal in cycling is exceptional, but Egan is an exceptional talent.
"We all know there is much more to come from Egan.
"He is a big part of the next generation of Team Sky, an incredible crop of young riders, alongside the likes of Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pavel Sivakov and Gianni Moscon."