Team Sky Signs Three More Riders
Calzati, Portal and Hayman all added to Team Sky roster.
Team Sky earlier today announced that it has signed three more riders for the new professional road cycling team. The riders are Sylvain Calzati, Nicolas Portal, and Mathew Hayman.
A total of 22 riders have now been announced by the team, which will race for the first time at the Tour Down Under in January 2010.
Announcing the riders Dave Brailsford, Team Manager for Team Sky said "We want to be able to compete at the highest level from the beginning of the year and with these new signings we have added significantly to our ability to do that. These new signings underline our international profile and our striving ambition to put together an excellent high-performance group of athletes who will be able to put Team Sky on the map in the new season."
He continued; "It's a great pleasure for us to have Sylvain and Nicolas onboard as our first two French riders. They are both experienced pros with a lot of good results on their CVs and they are both really versatile, all-round riders. Mathew has made his mark at the Classics, is a great team player and a solid performer throughout the year."
The signing of the two French riders are seen by experts as a strategic choice taken in order to improve the chances of obtaining a wild card for the 2010 Tour de France.
The new signings are:
Sylvain Calzati - 30-year old Calzati was racing this season with Agritubel and got his breakthrough three years ago by winning the 8th stage of the 2006 Tour de France. Prior to that he won the prestigious Tour de L'Avenir in 2004.
Nicolas Portal - Portal has been with the Spanish team Caisse d'Epargne for the last four seasons and won his first pro victory at the 2004 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. The 30-year old Frenchman has participated in six editions of the Tour de France in his eight years as a pro.
Mathew Hayman - The Australian rider finished his ninth season as a pro this year where he once again made his mark at the one day classics with a strong 4th place at Gent-Wevelgem. The 31-year old rider from New South Wales has been with Rabobank since he turned pro in 2000. In 2006, he was the Commonwealth Road Race Champion.
Team Sky will compete from the start of 2010, beginning with the Tour Down Under, and hopes to gain an invitation to the 2010 Tour de France. The initial squad of around 25 riders will be supported by a team of coaches, technicians and support staff drawn from across the cycling world, many of whom work throughout the year with British elite and developing riders.