American rider Will Barta is set to join the WorldTour ranks in 2019 having signed with Continuum Sports after four years with Hagens Berman Axeon.
The 22-year-old has impressed at the U23 level and already gained valuable WorldTour experience at the AMGEN Tour of California, General Manager Jim Ochowicz explained.
"We are very pleased to announce Will Barta as the latest rider to join Continuum Sports in 2019. Over the years we have welcomed many young riders in their neo pro years and Will certainly represents the next generation of American cycling talent. One of Will's breakthrough results during his time with Hagens Berman Axeon was fourth overall at the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2017 and with our focus on the classics, Will caught our attention." Ochowicz said.
"Will has also proved his strength in time trials with second place at the U23 national time trial in 2017, and second place in the Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux time trial this year which was enough to see him finish in third on the General Classification. We are looking forward to seeing Will continue to develop with us and learn from some of the most experienced riders in the peloton."
Barta has been dreaming of the chance to turn professional and is relishing the opportunity to do so with Continuum Sports, which will be sponsored by Polish company CCC in 2019.
"I've always been a big fan of BMC Racing Team. I started getting into cycling around the time Cadel Evans won the Tour de France in 2011 and to see how the whole team fought was really cool, so ever since then I have been a big fan. It's a dream come true to join the team," Barta said.
"The races I look forward to most are the Ardennes classics. I really enjoyed that type of racing at the U23 level and in the last few years I have become a better climber. I've really worked hard on the longer climbs so I'm looking forward to seeing how I can do in stage races as well. Time trialling is also something I like and have done quite well at. I like the aspect of it being just you out there and you can see from the team's results that time trials are a big focus so that's definitely attractive for me, to be able to learn from the best. To have the opportunity to learn from a champion like Greg Van Avermaet and the older guys in the team will be amazing and I can't wait."
In keeping with team policy, no other details of the contract were released.