Team Sky held their official team debut today in London, boasting an international team (26 riders from 12 nations) whose stated goal is “to produce a British winner of the Tour de France within the next five years,” according to team manager Dave Brailsford, “and to become the best and most admired cycling team in the world.”
While their recruiting tactics may set them back a bit on the “admiration” scale as they get going, their strong contingent should make them a serious force in the peloton and on the podium. Besides British star Bradley Wiggins, who was recruited from Garmin just before the holidays, Team Sky brought on Canadian Michael Barry and well known riders like Thomas Lovkvist and Simon Gerrans. (full team roster after the break)
The team will hit the road for the first time at the Tour Down Under later this month, and Wiggin’s first race appearance in the new blue and black team kit will be at the GP Marseillaise on January 31.
For continuous updates, Team Sky’s official website has finally launched at TeamSky.com, and promises to offer:
- Exclusive interviews and profiles for all 26 riders.
- Regular blogs from Bradley Wiggins, Michael Barry and Simon Gerrans.
- Exclusive video footage and photo galleries throughout the season.
- All the latest news and riding plans.
- Big-race coverage, starting with the Tour Town Under in January.
- The inside track on the bike, the kit and all the other key components.
- Facebook and Twitter interaction with the team.
The sponsors are listed on the bottom, including Jaguar, which means they should have some pretty sick team cars in the peloton, perhaps picking up for the missing Rock Racing Cadillacs.
He brings huge experience from eight years as a professional on the road and has won wide recognition for his Olympic and World Championship achievements on the track.
Brought up in London, the 29-year old is the highest placed British rider ever at the Tour de France – jointly with Robert Millar – after his 4th-place at the 2009 Tour.
Announcing the signing, Dave Brailsford, Team Principal of Team Sky, said; “Brad will be at home in Team Sky. It is the perfect fit and he will be a marquee rider for us.
“He is an exceptional athlete – a great performer at a great age. And he will get better still. At Team Sky he can continue to develop, surrounded by some of the coaches and performance experts who have worked with him for years as part of the British Cycling set-up. With his experience he will help us to develop our great young talents too.
“Brad was a real revelation at this year’s Tour de France, has been hugely successful for British Cycling and his Olympic success has brought wide recognition. His presence will not only help us on the road but with the wider aims of inspiring people to not only follow the team but to get out and ride, whatever their age or ability.”