Team Sky confirms full line-up for coming season as it looks to build on successful 2011

Cavendish says it feels like "coming home," while WIggins insists GC and points at TdF achieveable targets

by Simon_MacMichael   January 4, 2012  

Team Sky Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins (picture credit Team Sky:Jeff Moore)

Team Sky have this morning confirmed their full 28-man roster for the coming season in which they will be looking to build on a successful 2011 which saw them finish second in the UCI WorldTour Ranking.

The headline signing is, of course, world champion Mark Cavendish, who is joined by three former HTC-Highroad colleagues in making the switch to Team Sky – the American Danny Pate, Kanstanstin Siutsou from Belarus, and Bernhard Eisel, the Austrian who has acted as the Manxman’s minder over the past few seasons. Another major signing is the Australian Richie Porte, who joins from Saxo Bank.

Cavendish, who will be defending his green jersey in the Tour de France in the summer before attempting to win Olympic gold in the road race at the end of July, described his move as “coming home” – the very words used by Bradley Wiggins two years ago when he joined the team that has its roots in Great Britain’s hugely successful track programme.

“I could not be more excited about the coming season,” said Cavendish. “In many ways it has felt like coming home, by joining Team Sky. I’ve grown up with many of the riders and management and they have shown in just two years how far they have come. It is a hugely professional set up and arguably the strongest team in the world. It is definitely a team that will win races. 

“Being in a British team at a time when our sport is booming is a dream come true. I want to help continue that growth and I know that together as a team we can help inspire even more people to get on their bikes and have a go themselves.”

Wiggins, who recovered from the broken collarbone he sustained at the end of the first week of the Tour de France to finish third in the Vuelta, with team mate Chris Froome second, was adamant that Team Sky could not only build on last year’s success, but that it could also challenge for both the yellow and green jerseys at the Tour.

“We have a fantastic looking squad for 2012 and I think we are in great shape to build on our successes last year,” he maintained. “The support we continue to receive from fans around the world, and especially in the UK, is tremendous and we are going to be looking to repay that on the road this year."

If there is one thing this team is known for already it’s that we have ambition.  With Mark Cavendish joining the team we are ready to target sprints and GC in the same race and that is hugely exciting. There is nothing we like more than someone saying it can’t be done!”

Also in the Team Sky line-up is a trio of young riders who are moving up to this level for the first time. They are the Italian Salvatore Puccio, aged 22, who last year won the under-23 Tour of Flanders, the 24-year-old Colombian Sergio Henao, and 21-year-old Welshman Luke Rowe, who has come through the British Olympic Academy.

The latter’s cycling career began as a youngster with Cardiff club Maindy Flyers, which also produced Geraint Thomas, and the pair rode together to the British Madison championship in 2009. Rowe won it again in 2010 with Mark Christian and last year with Peter Kennaugh, another of his new team mates.

Team Principal Dave Brailsford said: “With Mark Cavendish joining riders like Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Edvald Boasson Hagen, we have a hugely talented squad of riders with proven ability at the very highest level of our sport. We made great strides in 2011, in what was our second season as a WorldTour team. The challenge for all of us is to build on those achievements and become an even stronger and more successful team.

“The next ten months will be a huge, but exceptionally exciting challenge. We will be looking to compete on every day of every race and continue the momentum the team created in 2011. These are exciting times for Team Sky and we can’t wait for the season to start.”

Team Sky 2012 roster

Davide Appollonio (ITA)
Michael Barry (CAN)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR)
Mark Cavendish (GBR)
Alex Dowsett (GBR)
Bernhard Eisel (AUT)
Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)
Chris Froome (GBR)
Mathew Hayman (AUS)
Sergio Henao (COL)
Jeremy Hunt (GBR)
Peter Kennaugh (GBR)
Christian Knees (GER)
Thomas Löfkvist (SWE)
Lars-Petter Nordhaug (NOR)
Danny Pate (USA)
Richie Porte (AUS)
Salvatore Puccio (ITA)
Michael Rogers (AUS)
Luke Rowe (GBR)
Ian Stannard (GBR)
Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR)
Chris Sutton (AUS)
Ben Swift (GBR)
Geraint Thomas (GBR)
Rigoberto Urán (COL)
Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
Xabier Zandio (ESP)

17 user comments

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No other comment to make other than I think the team are deluding themselves if they really do believe that the Yellow and Green jersey can be won by a single team in the tour (in the same year). The only way I can see it happening would be for there to be no competition from the other teams, or if ASO were to introduce some mad points allocation system. Say the holder of the green journey gets 30 mins knocked off his time for each day he wears the green.

It would be great if they prove me wrong.

posted by 1961BikiE [80 posts]
4th January 2012 - 13:57

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1961BikiE wrote:
No other comment to make other than I think the team are deluding themselves if they really do believe that the Yellow and Green jersey can be won by a single team in the tour (in the same year). The only way I can see it happening would be for there to be no competition from the other teams, or if ASO were to introduce some mad points allocation system. Say the holder of the green journey gets 30 mins knocked off his time for each day he wears the green.

It would be great if they prove me wrong.

Er, are you mad? It is not the same rider winning both jerseys they are talking about! Cool

They are talking about Cav for the green and Wiggo for the yellow.

posted by othello [279 posts]
4th January 2012 - 15:22

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But Cav for Green and wiggo for Yellow just wont happen, would LOVE it to like but I cant see it.

posted by shrinkinbggaz [117 posts]
4th January 2012 - 15:35

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shrinkinbggaz wrote:
But Cav for Green and wiggo for Yellow just wont happen, would LOVE it to like but I cant see it.

I think Cav will win green again, but Wiggo won't win yellow. I think he will podium though.

posted by othello [279 posts]
4th January 2012 - 15:40

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What an extraordinary picture. I hadn't realised that Cav n'Brad were aiming to be Posh n'Becks.

(for what it's worth, I do think the yellow/green double is doable, providing the team doesn't need to get sprint points in hilly stages, and providing they can get Cav over the mountains. However, Wiggins hasn't proved to be GC calibre yet)

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [160 posts]
4th January 2012 - 16:18

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Green for Cav, Yellow for Wiggo, it CAN happen, it WILL happen... let's have some positivity in this thread.

posted by WigginsSchmiggins [27 posts]
4th January 2012 - 16:53

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Err? 4th place in TDF, winning the Dauphiné, and 3rd in Vuelta seems pretty good proof of Wiggins GC calibre to me. I'm not sure what else Wiggins can do to convince? If he makes the podium it'll no doubt be a complete fluke for some UK critics. It's a British thing. No one makes the podium these days without help from a team and Sky have a good one. I wish him luck.

My only concern is Sky allowing the riders to spout. I see just now on Sky Sports News that Wiggins had got his revenge on Miller for critical comments in Miller's book about his time with Garmin. I just hope that Team Sky don't fall into the mess football is in. When you sup with the devil - let alone be sponsored by him - you should use a long spoon and Brailsford needs to watch that.

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1058 posts]
4th January 2012 - 16:58

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Cav is bigger than Wiggo!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1339 posts]
4th January 2012 - 17:02

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The trouble with most of you lot is that you are such a lot of gloomy negative buggers. Of course BW and MC can win yellow and green in the Tour. It's as if you don't want british cyclists to succeed and you can't wait to say so

posted by armitage shanks [6 posts]
4th January 2012 - 17:10

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MercuryOne wrote:
Err? 4th place in TDF, winning the Dauphiné, and 3rd in Vuelta seems pretty good proof of Wiggins GC calibre to me. I'm not sure what else Wiggins can do to convince?

Thing is, so far, he's never challenged for the lead of a 3 week tour when the big boys were there to play - he hasn't been in the same category as Evans, Contador and the Schlecks. He got beaten by Cobo and Froome in the Vuelta - and neither of them is of the calibre required to win the Tour (not yet, anyway). His fourth place in the Tour was a great performance, but he never looked like a danger to Contador or Schleck. And winning the Dauphine, whilst again a great achievement, doesn't mean he can win the Tour - it's a Tour tune-up but it's nowhere near the same kind of challenge.

I'm not slagging Wiggins off - he's a classy rider, and he's put in some great performances over the last couple of years, but there's nothing in his prior form that suggests he can beat the GC superstars at the Tour. To do that, he'll have to make another step up - I'm not saying he can't do it, but anyone claiming that he can obviously win the Tour based on past performances just isn't looking properly at the performances being cited.

Anyway, good luck to them - I've no doubt it will make for an interesting July!

posted by step-hent [675 posts]
4th January 2012 - 17:50

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armitage shanks wrote:
The trouble with most of you lot is that you are such a lot of gloomy negative buggers..

I does seem like that sometimes although if Google says road.cc get 250,000 unique visitors a month and million page views then it must just be that the gloomy are sometimes the most likely to comment. So you're certainly very welcome here if you're going to be cheerful. Messrs Cav, Wiggo and Sky in general do seem to attract extreme opinions, it has to be said.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
4th January 2012 - 18:15

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Sky is the best thing that has ever happened to British cycling - it took the core of the winning team from the track (the brains behind it as well as the riders) and has built them into a winning team on the road. Can the double be done in the TDF - yes it can, it's unlikely but it can be done. Can the treble be done - Yellow, Green and Gold unlikely but maybe once in a lifetime, and 2012 is as good a year as any.

Good luck to Cav, Wiggo and Sky - maybe just maybe we will see something truly spectacular this year.

posted by NJA [32 posts]
4th January 2012 - 18:35

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Looking at the 2012 TDF route, it does suit Wiggins more so than any in the past three years - a Prologue and two individual time trials (for nearly 100km in total) plus fewer summit finishes than is often the case. That will give him a definite advantage over the likes of Andy Schleck. I should have given that crystal ball a polish before doing the predictions the other day Wink

in the mountains, you'd expect Bernie Eisel assuming he rides to shepherd Cav through, but that leaves seven riders to support Wiggins, and with people like Siustou on board, Sky have more options there too.

On flatter stages, Sky will be at the front of the bunch for Cav, you wouldn't expect Wiggins to be doing massive turns on the front but being up there will hopefully keep him out of trouble - from memory he was a fair way back when that crash tool him out last year?

The green jersey though I think could be really interesting.

With Renshaw at Rabo, Goss with a GreenEdge team that has no GC distraction, Kittel should 1t4r get an invite, and Sagan with Liquigas - that's just four riders who haven't previously figured in the TDF as designated sprinters - plus the likes of Farrar, Petacchi, Bennati, Greipel, etc, it could be the most exciting points contest in years.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8034 posts]
4th January 2012 - 19:02

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Froome for yellow, cav for green, flecha for polka dot
There going for all four jerseys, unsure for white just yet

posted by robfletch [19 posts]
4th January 2012 - 19:05

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NJA wrote:
Sky is the best thing that has ever happened to British cycling

Time will tell but I think Sky will be as *good* for cycling as it has been for football. So far their contribution has been to get big names to break their contracts, hidden their riders behind screens when they train (albeit not anymore) and charge stupid amounts for their kit.

On the GC contenders I think the fact that Wiggins now has a loyal lieutenant like Froome will help his chances massively but even so I'd still only back him each way.

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
4th January 2012 - 21:11

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Am confident that they can both put in a really serious challenge, but worried that Wiggo's side burns may not be aero, and add extra weight!

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posted by andybnk [92 posts]
4th January 2012 - 22:42

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" I'm not slagging Wiggins off - he's a classy rider, and he's put in some great performances over the last couple of years, but there's nothing in his prior form that suggests he can beat the GC superstars at the Tour"

Granted. But with some 'superstars' like the Schleck brothers making mistakes and underperforming and with a united team still crucial to individual success Wiggins has to be considered a podium contender this year. We didn't get to see him climb last year but I suspect he would have been in contention. You don't win the Giro and TDF on TT alone so I'll put a £10 on him for podium. I just wish I'd done the same in 2009 when that no hoper trackie came fourth.
Smile

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1058 posts]
5th January 2012 - 9:20

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