As widely expected Team Sky today confirmed the signing of two more recruits; Italian professionals Dario Cioni and Davide Vigano. The two latest recruits combine the two themes of this squad: Cioni is a seasoned older pro while Vigano is a younger talent with big things expected of him in the years ahead – although at 25 he should be coming in to his prime.
They take the Team Sky roster to 24 riders, all of whom will gather at the team’s Manchester base next week.
Announcing the new riders, Dave Brailsford, Team Principal of Team Sky, said; “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.
He added; “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 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.”
DAVIDE VIGANO - Considered one of the bigger talents in Italy, having constantly produced results since he turned pro with Quickstep-Innergetic in 2005. The 25-year old sprinter has top-10 stage results in the Tour of Spain, the Tour of Italy and the Tour of Germany and this season finished 6th in Germany’s biggest one-day-race, Vattenfall Cyclassics.
DARIO CIONI - The experienced 34-year old was born in Britain but has spent much of his life in Tuscany. He will enter his 12th pro season with Team Sky having been with Italian squad ISD, Silence-Lotto and Liquigas. A former national time trial champion he has top-5 finishes in the Tour of Italy, the Tour of Romandie and the Tour of Slovenia on his CV.
The other Team Sky riders already announced are; 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.
Team Sky will compete from the start of 2010, beginning with the Tour Down Under in January, and hopes to gain an invitation to next year’s Tour de France - although they may need to add a bigger name to their squad before tomorrow's UCI deadline to make sure of a place on the starting line up in Rotterdam.
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