Team Sky have signed 20-year-old British rider Josh Edmondson on a two-year contract. The youngster from Yorkshire has spent the past two years riding for Italian UCI Continental outfit Team Colpack and impressed during the Tour of Britain in September, when he rode in the Great Britain team alongside riders from the British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme.
He performed particularly strongly on tougher, hilly stages including those to Dartmouth and Caerphilly and finished the race 16th overall, a notable achievement given his age.
The following week, he finished in the front bunch of 50 or so riders that contested the victory in the world championship under-23 road race, with the sprint finish won by Alexey Lutsenko of Kazakhstan.
Previously, Edmondson had finished fourth in the junior race at the world championships in 2010.
Speaking of his move to Sky, he said: I’m really excited to be joining Team Sky, and to be taking this next step in my career. It’s an amazing set up and a huge project. Meeting the team you can see that it is one big unit and that the support you get - with the best coaches and nutritionists in the world - is second to none.
“I see myself as a climbing specialist but my main aim with Team Sky is to develop my tour riding and get used to competing alongside the best riders in the world.
“I think the first year is a lot about settling in and learning to be part of the team. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and further appreciating how to race at this level.”
Team Principal Dave Brailsford added: “This is an international team but it’s one with a British heart and we are absolutely committed to nurturing the next generation of British talent.
“We have been keeping an eye on Josh since his time on the Olympic Development Programme and feel he is more than ready to take the next step in his career with a move up to the pro ranks.
“With the coaching and support staff on Team Sky, Josh is in the best possible place to continue his development and we look forward to watching him grow as a rider.”
Although he has been based in Bergamo for the past two years, Edmondson, who comes from Leeds, hasn't lost touch with his northern roots.
On his page on the Dave Rayner Fund website, an extensive list of dislikes includes "southerners."
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.