Bernhard Eisel to continue winning partnership with Mark Cavendish on Team Sky
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bernhard Eisel to continue winning partnership with Mark Cavendish on Team Sky

by Shane Stokes at 12:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Austrian comes on board after five years racing with Cavendish on HTC Highroad

Bernhard EiselIn a move that will surprise few after the confirmation that Mark Cavendish will race with Sky Procycling from 2012 onwards, his right-hand man and friend Bernhard Eisel has also been announced as signing with the team.

The duo have competed together on the HTC Highroad setup for the past five years and with Eisel’s support, Cavendish has taken a huge number of sprint wins, including multiple stages in the Tour de France plus this year’s green jersey. While his leadout men Mark Renshaw and Matt Goss are heading to Rabobank and GreenEdge respectively, there will be no splitting the Cavendish-Eisel partnership, which will continue into the future.

“I’m really happy. I’ve had a great time with HTC-Highroad but at soon as I heard the team was folding I knew I would have to explore other possibilities, and Team Sky were right at the top of my list,” he said, talking about the deal. “The biggest thing that attracted me to them was the structure they have in place and everything that happens behind the scenes.

“Everything is catered for the riders and I think that’s the perfect way to run a professional cycling team. The fact that I wanted to stay with Cav was also a major factor and we’re both happy that we will now have more years ahead of us.”

Eisel is himself a very strong rider, and has clocked up over twenty wins. They include stages in the Tours of Switzerland and Qatar plus the Volta ao Algarve, as well as the 2008 Paris-Bourges and 2010 Ghent-Wevelgem races. He has twice taken a top ten finish in Paris-Roubaix, and so he has strong one day abilities as well as on the flatter stages in Grand Tours.

He said that he wants to play both roles with the British squad. “My main job will be keeping him protected leading into the sprints, but the spring Classics are also very important to me and I’ll be looking to ride well in them,” he explained. “If I can secure a ride in the Tour de France that will be great as well. I have ridden the last eight Tours and finished them all, and next year is my twelfth season as a professional so I’d like to think I have the experience to be able to contribute to the team.”

Team principal Dave Brailsford has the greatest responsibility as regards running the team and must ensure that every rider races to the top of his ability. He knows that the Austrian will slot in well, and will also sync perfectly with Cavendish.

“Bernhard is one of the most hard-working and respected riders in the peloton and is exactly the type of guy we have been looking to bring to the team,” he said. “He’s a natural leader with a cool, calm head - in the same mould of Juan Antonio Flecha and Mathew Hayman - and will also be able to take charge of things on the road.”

“The younger guys will be able to learn a lot from him and we expect him to adopt a senior role within the squad. He’s the consummate team player but is also capable of winning races himself and his versatility will be a massive boost to the team.”

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