The Dutchman has improved each time he has competed at the Tour of Flanders, and in 2017 was knocking on the door of a podium with fourth place.

Now 25, Van Baarle is ready to challenge for more on the cobbles, and can’t wait to slot himself into the team’s Classics group.

He admitted:

“My ambitions are in the Classics. That’s the one big goal for me, especially the Cobbled Classics like Flanders and Roubaix.

“To win Flanders or Roubaix you need to have some luck, especially in Roubaix. All the pieces of the puzzle need to come together on that day and if you have a bad day you won’t make the podium.

“You have to have a good day on the right day.”

Dylan Van Baarle
Dylan Van Baarle. Photo©Team Sky

Growing up in Holland it is perhaps no surprise Van Baarle finds himself drawn to the tough northern one-day races.

“The Classics mean a lot to me. Living in Holland, close to Belgium and watching those races created my love for it. I really hope I can be on the podium and I hope to be on the highest step.

“I joined Team Sky because I think I can take the next step here. I also hope to be part of a Grand Tour team – that would be really cool.”

He is also part of a small Dutch contingent on Team Sky, with compatriots Wout Poels and Sport Director Servais Knaven.

He added:

“I know Wout but only really from the Worlds and racing together, but mostly he has done different races from me.

“With Servais, it’s really important to have a Dutch speaker who does the cobbled Classics. He really knows a lot and I think I can learn from him.”

On his ambitions for his first year with Team Sky

“My ambitions are in the Classics. That’s the one big goal for me, especially the cobbled classics like Flanders and Roubaix.

“I also hope to be part of a Grand Tour team – that would be really cool.”

On signing for Team Sky

“I joined Team Sky because I think I can take the next step here.

“It was not a really easy decision because of the situation with my old team, but I think I made the right decision and I’m really looking forward to 2018.”

On what it takes to win at Flanders or Roubaix

“To win Flanders or Roubaix you need to have some luck, especially in Roubaix.

“All the pieces of the puzzle need to come together on that day and if you have a bad day you won’t make the podium.

“You have to have a good day on the right day.”

What do the Classics mean to you?

“The Classics mean a lot to me. Living in Holland, close to Belgium and watching those races created my love for it. I really hope I can be on the podium and I hope to be on the highest step.”

On the Dutch presence at Team Sky, Wout Poels and Servais Knaven

“I know Wout but only really from the Worlds and racing together, but mostly he has done different races from me.

“With Servais, it’s really important to have a Dutch speaker who does the cobbled classics.

He really knows a lot and I think I can learn from him.”