Team Sky unveils strongest roster yet for 2012
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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Team Sky unveils strongest roster yet for 2012

by Ben Atkins at 10:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
World and British champions included in British WorldTour team

mark cavendish,bradley wigginsTeam Sky has revealed its full 28-man roster for the 2012 season, including newly signed World champion Mark Cavendish, and British champion Bradley Wiggins. The British team, now into its third year in the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour, is hoping to build on a successful 2011 and will be chasing multiple targets this season, including both the yellow and green jerseys at the Tour de France.

Key results in 2011 included second and third places at the Vuelta a España – through Chris Froome and Wiggins – overall victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné – though Wiggins – and two stage victories at the Tour de France – through Norwegian sensation Edvald Boasson Hagen. Team Sky Team Principle Dave Brailsford clearly feels that the team up to the challenge that it is setting itself.

“With Mark Cavendish joining riders like Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Edvald Boasson Hagen, we have a hugely talented squad of riders with proven ability at the very highest level of our sport,” he said. “We made great strides in 2011, in what was our second season as a WorldTour team. The challenge for all of us is to build on those achievements and become an even stronger and more successful team.

“The next ten months will be a huge, but exceptionally exciting challenge,” he continued. “We will be looking to compete on every day of every race and continue the momentum the team created in 2011. These are exciting times for Team Sky and we can’t wait for the season to start.”

Mark CavendishWidely expected to join the team at its inception in 2010, Cavendish is the team’s biggest signing by far. The World champion, who also won green at the Tour last year – earning him several accolades, including the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award – is pleased to now be among such familiar faces.

“I could not be more excited about the coming season,” he said. “In many ways it has felt like coming home, by joining Team Sky. I’ve grown up with many of the riders and management and they have shown in just two years how far they have come. It is a hugely professional set up and arguably the strongest team in the world. It is definitely a team that will win races.

“Being in a British team at a time when our sport is booming is a dream come true,” the Manxman added. “I want to help continue that growth and I know that together as a team we can help inspire even more people to get on their bikes and have a go themselves.”

Among the old friends that Cavendish has reunited with is multiple Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins. After his fourth place at the 2009 Tour, and third place at last year’s Vuelta a España, the 31-year-old will be aiming for yellow in Paris this time, as well as Olympic time trial gold in his home town shortly afterwards.

Bradley Wiggins“We have a fantastic looking squad for 2012 and I think we are in great shape to build on our successes last year,” said the Londoner. “The support we continue to receive from fans around the world, and especially in the UK, is tremendous and we are going to be looking to repay that on the road this year.

“If there is one thing this team is known for already it’s that we have ambition. With Mark Cavendish joining the team we are ready to target sprints and GC in the same race and that is hugely exciting. There is nothing we like more than someone saying it can’t be done!”

In addition to Cavendish, the team is welcoming the Manxman’s former HTC-Highroad teammates Bernhard Eisel, Danny Pate and Kanstantsin Siutsou; the former being his indispensable friend and minder over many of the biggest races of the season.

Other new names to join in 2012 are neo-pros Luke Rowe and Salvatore Puccio, Colombian climber Sergio Henao – the winner of the 2011 Tour of Utah – and 2010 Giro d’Italia pink jersey wearer, and white jersey winner, Richie Porte.

Team Sky full 2012 roster:
Davide Appollonio, Michael Barry, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Mark Cavendish, Alex Dowsett, Bernhard Eisel, Juan Antonio Flecha, Chris Froome, Mathew Hayman, Sergio Henao, Jeremy Hunt, Peter Kennaugh, Christian Knees, Thomas Löfkvist, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Salvatore Puccio, Michael Rogers, Luke Rowe, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Ian Stannard, Chris Sutton, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Rigoberto Urán, Bradley Wiggins and Xabier Zandio

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