Team Sky has today announced three more riders for its debut season on the road, but speculation will continue to surround Bradley Wiggins’ destination next year, with his name not among the most recent signings.
The three cyclists whose names were announced today are the Frenchmen Sylvain Calzati and Nicolas Portal, and Australia’s Matthew Hayman.
Team Principal Dave Brailsford said: “It’s a great pleasure for us to have Sylvain and Nicolas onboard as our first two French riders. They are both experienced pros with a lot of good results on their CVs and they are both really versatile, all-round riders. Mathew has made his mark at the Classics, is a great team player and a solid performer throughout the year.”
Brailsford, the architect of Team GB’s phenomenal track success in recent years says that the recruitment of the new riders underscores the team’s ambition.
“We want to be able to compete at the highest level from the beginning of the year and with these new signings we have added significantly to our ability to do that,” he says. “These new signings underline our international profile and our striving ambition to put together an excellent high-performance group of athletes who will be able to put Team Sky on the map in the new season. “
Calzati, a former winner of the Tour de l’Avenir, joins from Agritubel, and won a stage during the 2006 Tour de France. His compatriot Portal joins after four years at the Spanish team Caisse d’Epargne, and is a past winner of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. Haman, meanwhile, has a solid background in the classics – unsurprisingly for someone who has been at Rabobank for most of his career – and in 2006, he was the Commonwealth Road Race Champion.
With the final team needing to be lodged with the UCI by this Friday to ensure that Team Sky secures a licence for next season, time is running out for the outfit to capture Wigins’ signature, which it dearly covets, but which would reportedly cost around £2 million to secure.
Garmin-Slipstream are equally keen to hold onto the multiple Olympic gold medalist, who finished fourth in this year’s Tour de France, and although their lawyers are reported to have spoken to those of Team Sky regarding a potential deal, at this stage a move is looking increasingly unlikely.
To date, Team Sky has announced 22 riders, listed below. We’ll find out soon enough whether a 23rd name can be added to the list.
Team Sky 2010 riders: 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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.