British time trial champion Alex Dowsett has left Team Sky to join Movistar for the 2013 season.
The 24-year-old from Essex joined Sky as a neo-pro rider in 2011 from the US-based Trek-Livestrong development team.
He has since shown his potential as a top time triallist, winning the British title in 2011 and 2012 and finishing eighth at this year's World Time Trial.
Alex Dowsett achievements
- 2012 highlights: National Time Trial champion, second in National Road Race Championships and eighth in World Time Trial
- 2011 highlights: National Time Trial champion, second overall in Tour du Poitou-Charentes (first in stage five) and fifth overall in the Post Danmark Rundt
- Other highlights: British 2006 Junior Road Race Champion, 2008 & 2009 Under-23 British Time Trial Champion, 2010 Under-23 European Time Trial Champion and silver in 2010 Commonwealth Games time trial
"It gives me new opportunities and Movistar have been itching to have me," Dowsett told BBC Essex.
"It's been fantastic at Team Sky. I thank them for everything they have done for me."
Dowsett missed out on a place in Great Britain's Olympic cycling team when his preparations were hampered by an elbow injury.
He also blamed his omission
on the decision to allow drug cheats to represent GB at London 2012, with David Millar, who
admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs in 2004,
included in the squad.
He made headlines earlier this month when
he described Lance Armstrong as a "legend"
in the aftermath of the American's drugs ban.
But Dowsett said he was referring to what Armstrong had achieved in the fight against cancer and added he would not want to shake the Texan's hand.
The move to Movistar gives the Commonwealth Games silver medallist the opportunity to step into the main body of a team and to challenge for tour stage victories.
Movistar won the team classification at
this year's Vuelta a Espana,
where Alejandro Valverde also took the points and combination classifications.