Sunderland leaves Team Sky, cites family reasons
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sunderland leaves Team Sky, cites family reasons

by Conal Andrews at 10:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian played considerable role in building Team Sky

Scott SunderlandHe’s been instrumental in recruiting riders and help set up the new Team Sky squad, but Scott Sunderland has now decided to step aside in order to spend more time with his family.

The former Australian pro was spending long periods of time away from home due to the intensity of his work as senior sports director, and has decided that a change is necessary for several reasons, not least the illness of his youngest son.

“After spending many rewarding months working on the assembling and directing of a great group of people, this decision was made after careful consideration,” he said in a statement.

“My wife Sabine and I have had many long conversations over the last few months and we agree that the well-being of our family, and in particular the health of our youngest son Tristan, asks for me to increase the time and attention I give to my loved ones.”

Dave Brailsford, Team Principal for Team Sky, underlined Sunderland’s efforts. “We would like to thank Scott for his contribution to Team Sky. He helped us get from the drawing board to being a real road team, working with us from the announcement of the project to our first podium finishes. We all wish Scott the very best, personally and for his future career,”

Sunderland said that their oldest son Saën has been helping out in supporting Tristan, who suffers from kidney problems, but that he needs to have a more regular life. “I’m very proud of him for having assumed so willingly a responsible and supportive position during my times away from home. Time has come for him to fully enjoy his teenage years.”

He added that while he was stepping away from cycling, that the sport would always be a integral part of his life.

“I think with fondness of those people who have worked with me at Sky Pro Cycling and who have empathized with my worries and understand this difficult choice. We might part as colleagues but will remain friends, no doubt,” he concluded.

Sunderland competed for many years as a professional, riding with a variety of teams including TVM, Lotto, Gan, Palmans and Fakta. He won a number of races, including Nokere Koerse, GP Fourmies, GP Pino Cerami, plus stages in the Vuelta Castilla y León and the Tour de la Région Wallonne. He retired in 2004 and worked as a sports director with the CSC team from then until the end of 2008, during which time the team won two editions of Paris-Roubaix and the 2008 Tour de France.

He then worked for some time with the Cervélo Test Team before switching to his role with Team Sky.

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