Team SKY Announces First Rider Recruitments

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09/9/2009| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

Team SKY Announces First Rider Recruitments

Brits sign up for new professional British road team.

Team Sky earlier today announced that it has signed with six riders who will be riding for the new British professional cycling team come 2010.

Six British riders are the first to be secured for Team Sky, the road team created by Sky and managed by British Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford CBE.

Together, the riders bring Olympic and Commonwealth medals, Tour de France experience, and Tour of Britain success.

The Team Sky 2010 roster so far sports:

Geraint Thomas : Born in Cardiff, the 23 year-old came through the British Cycling Academy and is a former winner of the Junior Paris-Roubaix. Turned professional with Barloworld in 2007, becoming the youngest rider in that year’s Tour de France and the first Welshman to ride it for 40 years. Won Gold for Team Pursuit at Beijing Olympics.   

Peter Kennaugh : Aged 20, and one of the most promising talents to emerge in several years, he turns professional with Team Sky.  Peter progressed through the Academy to become the British Under-23 Champion and to dominate the Under-23 calendar in Italy, winning the Trofeo Bastianelli, GP Capadarco and a stage of the Baby Giro. Born on the Isle of Man and partners fellow Manxman Mark Cavendish in Madison on the track.

Steve Cummings : The 28-year old from Birkenhead is in his fifth season as a professional, riding for Discovery with Lance Armstrong and then with Barloworld. The former Junior National Road champion has now taken three professional wins.   A strong time-trial rider, he helped GB to Team Pursuit Gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Silver at the 2004 Olympics and the World Championship in 2005.

Chris Froome : Started in mountain biking in South Africa before moving onto the road, he is an outstanding climber with great potential to develop further. Turned pro in 2007 and is now in his third professional season. Currently with Barloworld, the 24-year old completed the Tour de France in 2008 and was seventh amongst the young riders at the 2009 Giro d’Italia.

Ian Stannard : Born in Chelmsford, the 22-year old made his professional road debut two years ago as a trainee with T-Mobile.  He came 3rd in last year’s Tour of Britain - riding for the GB team and finishing one place behind Steve Cummings - and was selected to ride this year’s Giro d’Italia with the new ISD team. 

Russell Downing : Winner of the 2009 Tour of Ireland and a former British National Road Champion in 2005. The 31-year old has ridden for Great Britain at the World Championship and, as one of the most successful ever domestic-based professionals, has a long history on the British road-racing scene.  Currently rides for Pinarello.

In the coming months they will be joined in Team Sky by up to nineteen additional riders, according to Team Sky spokespeople.

The new team aims to create the first British winner of the Tour de France within five years, inspire people of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes, and add further support to competitive cycling in Great Britain.

Team Sky will have a core of British riders, coaches and support staff and its British HQ is in Manchester, home to the GB cycling team.  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. It will compete from the start of 2010 and hopes to gain an invitation to next year’s Tour de France.

“Today brings an important milestone. Team Sky is a major project for British sport; a British Professional Cycling team built to take on the Tour de France. We have a rider-centred philosophy so these are the people at its heart. It gives me huge satisfaction to announce these first riders. And as a British Team, I am proud that the first on our roster are British. They bring experience of the Tour de France, honours from the Olympics and World Championships, and exciting talent. We can help them continue to develop in this new environment and I know that they can help Team Sky take on the best on the road and win.”

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