Team INEOS Coach Xabier Artetxe feels that Rivera will have plenty to add to the team once he is settled into the demands of pro racing.
He confirmed: “Brandon is versatile and he can become a really good support rider for the team. He’s a strong time trialist, he can climb well and he’s also fast when sprinting from a small group.
“He was racing in Europe two years ago but he didn’t have the best experience as he had a knee injury. But last year he came back to Colombia and he had a really good season. He’s stepped up a lot and I think he’s ready for the WorldTour.
“He’s really motivated to use this opportunity to develop himself and become a better rider. It will be important for him to learn how we work and get used to the WorldTour level. Then in the second year I’m sure he can turn into a strong support rider.
“When he was younger, he and Egan were the two best mountain bike riders in Colombia. They were the biggest rivals but they are really good friends. They spend a lot of time training together so Egan can really help him find his feet in the team.”
Now set to be teammates at the highest level of the sport, Rivera speaks fondly of Bernal and his friend’s support.
He added: “Egan and I are very good friends. We have known each other since the age of 10 when we started on the mountain bike in Zipaquirá. We were both full of dreams, and so to now be riding together again is incredible. I have to thank him very much for riding with me all these years and for always believing in me. In Colombia Egan is an example that dreams do come true and he’s an idol for children and adults.”