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

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)

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.