Team Sky have announced the arrival of Sean Yates from Astana as one of their Sports Directors. He joins Scott Sunderland, Steven De Jongh and Marcus Ljungqvist, who all undertake similar roles at the team.
Dave Brailsford, Team Principal for Team Sky, said: “Sean brings a wealth of experience and we’ve been very keen for a long time to bring him on board. He’s well known as a hard-working sports director with a deep understanding of the sport and good connection to his riders and staff. He will be a true asset to our management team and a great colleague for the other Sports Directors we have signed.
“Our ambition is to have our Sports Directors collaborating with the best available expert knowledge on all the relevant aspects of sport and we believe that it will provide Team Sky with a unique fundament to perform and win. Sean and the other Sports Directors will be working in a performance driven team where I’m convinced we can bring out the very best in the riders.”
Yates, who is aged 49, is excited about joining Team Sky in the New Year, saying: “Obviously for me, to be part of a British team at the highest level is something truly special. I have a lot of experience in a winning team and I look forward to helping Team Sky to fulfil its goals. The scope and the ambition of the project is unique and I think we have put together a great team. I really believe we can be contenders on all levels in the future and I’m proud to become part of that.”
In a 14-year pro racing career, Yates rode in the colours of Peugeot, Fagor, 7-Eleven and Motorola counts Robert Millar and Lance Armstrong among his former team mates. He took part in the Tour de France a dozen times, and in 1994 became only the third British rider to wear the race leader’s yellow jersey.
Team Sky launches at the Tour Down Under early next year, and hopes to be invited to take part in the Tour de France.
To date, it has announced 24 of its initial squad of 25 riders. It remains to be seen who will fill the final place.
Riders announced to date 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, Mathew Hayman, Dario Cioni and Davide Viganò .
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.