Cioni and Vigano signed to Team Sky
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cioni and Vigano signed to Team Sky

by Conal Andrews at 8:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Team Sky has officially confirmed the signing of two strong Italian talents to the squad, GC rider Dario Cioni and sprinter Davide Vigano.

The British team confirmed the latest signings today, bringing the number of riders announced for the 2010 lineup to 24.

Cioni’s best season was 2004, when he finished fourth overall in the Giro d’Italia, third in the Tour de Suisse, won the national time trial title and placed fifth in the Tour de Romandie. A strong climber and time trialist, his career results also include a stage win plus second overall in the 2007 Vuelta a Andalucia, fourth in the Tour of Slovenia, as well as second and third in the Firenze Pistoia one-day race.

Sky team principal Dave Brailsford feels the British-born rider will make a valuable contribution to the team.

“Taking Dario Cioni on board means we’ll have the experience of another hard-working stage-race specialist who’ll be able to lead the way in the big three-week races,” he stated today. “He knows the Grand Tours well and has the physique to pull for the team in all kinds of terrain. We have a great blend of experience, developing talent and proven winners in this team and can now focus on preparing for our debut at the Tour Down Under in January.”

Cioni is 34 years of age and close to the end of his career, but could well be poised to go into sports management with the team afterwards. He graduated from the European School of Economics in 2004, receiving an honours degree in International Business with specialisation in Sports Management.

Vigano will take on sprinting duties with the team. The 25 year old is considered one of Italy’s big new talents and turned pro with the Quick Step Innergetic team in 2004. He was sixth in Germany’s biggest one-day race this year, the Vattenfall Cyclassics, and also has top-ten stage finishes in the Vuelta a España, Giro d’Italia and Deutschland Tour to his credit.

Brailsford is excited about the young rider. “Vigano is a real talent on the brink of an international breakthrough. Team Sky is all about developing and bringing out the best in these kinds of talents and he will benefit hugely from the way we work.”

There is still no word about Bradley Wiggins, who had been linked to the team despite having one year remaining on his contract with the Garmin Slipstream team.

The list of confirmed riders is Cioni and Vigano, Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Pete Kennaugh, Chris Froome, Ian Stannard, Russell Downing, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thomas Löfkvist, Kurt Arvesen, Simon Gerrans, Juan Antonio Flecha, Kjell Carlstrom, John Lee Augustyn, Greg Henderson, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Morris Possoni, Michael Barry, Serge Pauwels, Chris Sutton, Sylvain Calzati, Nicolas Portal and Mathew Hayman.

They will meet at the team’s UK base in Manchester next week, and make their racing debut in the ProTour Tour Down Under in January. Competing in the 2010 Tour de France is one of the big targets for the team’s first season.


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