Team Sky renews contracts of Stannard, Swift and Kennaugh
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Team Sky renews contracts of Stannard, Swift and Kennaugh

by Xylon van Eyck at 6:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Trio remain on team to add to British contingent

Ben SwiftThe British team Sky Procycling has re-signed three of its homegrown riders for 2012, namely Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh. The team has had a major shake up in its roster for next season with high profile riders like Mark Cavendish and Richie Porte coming on board. It has hailed the trio as “highly valued and versatile members of the squad,” thus deciding to keep their services for next year.

Swift in particular has had an outstanding year with five wins, and also made his debut in the Tour de France. Last year he was the first rider to take the overall classification of a race for the-then new team when he was victorious in the Tour of Picardie.

“I’m delighted with the way things have gone over the last two years and am over the moon to have signed this new contract,” Swift said. “The support the team have given me both on and off the bike has been absolutely fantastic and I just hope I can keep progressing now and win more bike races. We’re a really tight-knit group here and I’m really looking forward to seeing us push on and grow as a team.”

Stannard has spent a large part of his career riding for foreign teams before joining Sky last season. He’s become a rider to watch as he racked up an impressive amount of high placings this season, along with his first professional victory in the Tour of Austria.

“I’ve learned so much from my first two seasons with Team Sky and am excited about what the future holds now I have signed this new deal. The Classics are where I want to specialise so I will be working hard to try and hit the ground running next spring. For the rest of next season I’m happy riding on the front and getting involved in the lead-outs, and if I can get in a few breakaways along the way then hopefully there could be some more victories to come.”

22 year old Kennaugh turned professional with the team last year and has grown since then, starting two Grand Tours this season and finishing third in the Route du Sud and fifth in the Tour de Pologne.

He’s got set targets for 2012. “Next year my focus will be on chasing more results on the road, probably in some of the more testing week-long races and of course the London Olympics,” he explained. “Looking beyond that my ambition is to race some of the hilly one day races like the Ardennes Classics and continue to provide support in the mountain stages of Grand Tours as I did at the Giro d'Italia this year. These are really exciting times, and I am proud to be a part of one of the biggest teams in the world.”

One benefit for the team is that all three have raced with Mark Cavendish in the past. His leadout train at HTC Highroad has been broken up by that team’s ending and while he has Bernhard Eisel with him at Team Sky, others are missing. However the British riders should work well with him and after a few races to fine-tune the train, they should be ready to help him clock up wins.

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