Team Sky are pleased to announce that Davide Martinelli will join the team as a stagiaire for the remainder of the season.
The 19-year-old, hailing from Brescia, Italy is seen as one of the top prospects in Italian cycling following a string of impressive results in the junior ranks.
Debuting at the five-day Vuelta a Burgos in Spain, Martinelli will look to gain valuable experience in the pro ranks as the first stagiaire in the three seasons for Team Sky.
A powerful ‘rouleur’ with a love for time trialling and an eye on the Classics, Martinelli arrives at the team from the same Hoopla’ under-23 squad which also produced Team Sky riders Davide Appollonio and Salvatore Puccio.
Son of Astana team manager Giuseppe Martinelli, Davide became the Italian Junior time trial champion in 2011 and took second in the same discipline having moved up to the under-23 ranks for 2012.
Ahead of his first race in Team Sky colours we caught up with Martinelli to hear his thoughts on the remainder of the season.
“I am delighted to have been picked as a stagiaire by the number one team in the world,” he said. “It is going to be an incredible experience, riding along with guys who are making history in cycling - people I used to merely watch on TV a short time ago.
“I know both Davide and Salvatore as they rode the same under-23 team as me. They told me great things about Team Sky, and the fact that they take care of every detail in order to get the best out of every rider. That really impressed me, as I believe that focusing on details makes a real difference for reaching big goals.
“I will try to enjoy the experience, and learn a lot with a view to stepping up to professional ranks in the (hopefully near) future.”
At home on the road and the track, the stagiaire process will further help Martinelli develop as a rider. Unsurprisingly the Italian is keen to learn.
He continued: “Being a stagiaire, my main focus will be on learning and gaining experience, trying to understand the best way to approach professional racing by focusing on my team-mates’ behaviour, both inside and outside races.
“I see myself as a rouleur with time trialing as a main strength. In June I finished second in the Italian time trial championships in my first year in this category. I have also got quite a good sprint and manage to hold on decently on the climbs.
“I like cobbled classics a lot. I took part in Paris-Roubaix as a junior and this year I was at the start of the under-23 Tour of Flanders. Those races really excited me and I believe they could suit my characteristics. I was often asked to work for a team leader like in last year’s World Championships and I enjoyed that role. I can give my all for the team, but I am not afraid of taking responsibilities when the chance arises.
“My main focus is on improving year after year, and I truly hope this experience at Team Sky will give me a major boost in helping me to become more competitive on the international stage. My main aim is to turn pro one day, and – who knows – it might happen at Team Sky.”