Team Sky continues to grow
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Team Sky continues to grow

by VeloNation Press at 10:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
For the second day in a row, British Team Sky has confirmed rider signings, only this time with an international flavor. The list of new recruits boasts cyclists from eight different countries, and has a combination of experience and young up and coming talent.

Of the latest acquisitions, Team Principal Dave Brailsford said, "These international riders join a British contingent - a fundamental part of the team - that we announced yesterday. They bring huge experience from the Classics and Tours, real talent that we can develop, and key elements for a high performance team."

This confirms many of the rumors about transfers to the British squad.

The ten international riders announced by Team Sky are as follows:

Edvald BOASSEN HAGEN (Norway)

An outstanding talent, just 22-years old, Edvald currently sits third overall in the UCI rankings, having won Eneco Tour and Gent Wevelgem along with a stage in this year’s Giro d’Italia. One of the brightest talents in pro cycling.

Thomas LOVKVIST (Sweden)

Currently with Columbia HTC, he turned pro with Francaise de Jeux in 2004. Has had a great season, wearing the Maglia Rosa in the Giro d’Italia and winning best young rider at Tirreno Adriatico. GC and Classics prospect and a very exciting addition to Team Sky.

Kurt ARVESEN (Norway)

Known as a sprinter and Classics rider, he has won stages of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. Current National Champion, former U-23 World Champions and a pro for 12 seasons, he is an elder statesman who will be a good mentor to younger riders. The 34-year old has been with Saxo Bank since 2004.

Simon GERRANS (Australia)

Currently with Cervelo Test Team. Has won stages of all three Grand Tours this year, including the Vuelta this week, and proved a superb team player. Turned pro with Ag2r in 2005 before moving to Credit Agricole in 2008 and winning the Tour Down Under.

Juan Antonio FLECHA (Spain)

A highly experienced pro with ten years experience and a stage win in the Tour de France. Known as a Classics specialist, has two podium finishes in Paris-Roubaix. Brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and will play a vital role with the younger riders.

Kjell CARLSTROM (Finland)

Aged 32, he has been with Liquigas for four seasons having turned pro with Amore e Vita in 2002. Rode the Tour, Vuelta and Giro with Liquigas and is a stage winner in Paris-Nice. A specialist climber, reliable in 3-week tours.

John Lee AUGUSTYN (South Africa)

At 23-years old he is a young developing talent with potential to be a great climber. Currently with Barloworld, he rode the Tour de France with them last year. Turned professional in 2005 with Konica Minolta.

Greg HENDERSON (New Zealand)

The 31-year old New Zealander will join from Columbia HTC. A former World Champion and Commonwealth medal-winner he has recorded nine victories in 2009 including a stage win at this year’s Vuelta a Espana.

Lars PETTER NORDHAUG (Norway)

Started his career as a mountain-biker before switching to the road and becoming National Champion of Norway. The 25-year old Bianchi pro was runner-up to Russell Downing in the 2009 Tour of Ireland.

Morris POSSONI (Italy)

The 25-year old has had four seasons as a professional; two with Lampre-Fondital and two with Columbia HTC. Wore the best young rider jersey during the 2008 Giro d’Italia.

This new announcement follows on the heels of yesterday's "home flavor" that included Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Pete Kennaugh, Chris Froome, Ian Stannard and Russell Downing onto the roster. Over the following months these riders will be joined by up to ten more. Further announcements will be made as they are secured.

Satisfied with the group he's assembled, Brailsford said, "We had a blank canvas when we started out. The aim is to get the right components – the right riders at the right time - to build a great team. All of these riders fit the ethos and performance principles at the heart of Team Sky and have the style and approach to racing that we want.

"Today we’ve brought ten more riders into our team. It’s another big step in building Team Sky, and it’s very exciting to see the team take shape."

The new team, sponsored by British Sky Broadcasting, is a massive attempt to grow the sport of cycling in Britain, and has been launched on the coat tails of the incredible Olympic success experienced by Brailsford's national track team in 2008.

In a time where the economy has taken its toll on cycling sponsorships, the realization of Team Sky is a welcome addition to cycling, and also huge step towards growing the sport in a country where it has not yet reached the main stream.
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