Team Sky’s latest signing is Steven De Jongh, who is set to join in the New Year as Sports Director. The highly-experienced 35-year old Dutch rider ended his active career as a professional bike rider at the recent Giro del Piemonte.
De Jongh has been with the Belgian Quick-Step team for the last four seasons and is known for his wins and consistent results in the cobbled races in Northern Europe.
During his 15-year career he rode for TVM, Rabobank and Quick Step, winning E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and Veenendaal-Veenendaal. He also won stages in the Tour of Holland, Sweden and Poland
In the Quick Step jersey De Jongh won Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Tour de Rijke, a stage in the Driedaagse de Panne-Koksijde and the Delta Profronde van Midden-Zeeland.
David Brailsford, Team Principal for Team Sky, said; “Steven brings a lot of knowledge about the classics and the tough one-day races and will be a real asset to Team Sky as a Sports Director. He has the right character and personality to be an excellent sports director and with him we have another great addition to our management.”
“He's a good communicator and has always been a highly-respected rider. I'm convinced that his hands-on knowledge will fit in perfectly with the technical staff we have for the classics and the other important races in our program.
“We want to build up our management with people with a broad spectrum of qualifications combined with the right attitude about working together. I'm convinced that Steven is the right person for the job.”
Steven De Jongh said of his new role: “I feel perfectly at ease about retiring now as a rider, because I'm really exited about joining Team Sky. It's a fantastic project and I think that they have given me the chance of a lifetime to become a part of it.
“I have a lot of ambitions about the sport and I'm looking forward to being a part of a team that is starting up and will bring something new and different in cycling. It's totally new for me to take on this role but I'm confident that I bring some experience and that I'll be working with great riders and fantastic colleagues at Team Sky.”
Team Skywill compete from the start of 2010, beginning with the Tour Down Under, and hopes to gain an invitation to next year’s Tour de France. The initial squad of around 25 riders will be supported by a team of coaches, technicians and support staff drawn from across the cycling world, many of whom work throughout the year with British elite and developing riders.
To date, Team Sky has revealed 16 riders for the new team with more to be announced. Six British riders - Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Pete Kennaugh, Chris Froome, Ian Stannard and Russell Downing – line up with ten international riders - Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thomas Lovkvist, Kurt Arvesen, Simon Gerrans, Juan Antonio Flecha, Kjell Carlstrom, John Lee Augustyn, Greg Henderson, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Morris Possoni.