Team Sky has announced that Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh have all re-signed with the team ahead of the 2012 season.
Since the launch of the team two years ago the young British trio have all become highly valued and versatile members of the squad.
Stannard is now regarded as one of the strongest Classics riders in the team and claimed his first professional victory at the Tour of Austria in July. The 24 year-old from Chelmsford played a key support role for Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins at the Vuelta a Espana in August, was a member of Great Britain’s World Championship-winning road team in September, and has performed successful lead-out duties this season for the likes of Swift, Greg Henderson and Davide Appollonio.
Kennaugh was the team’s only neo-pro during their opening campaign and has matured tremendously during his first two seasons in the professional ranks. Last year the 22-year-old Manxman earned his first Grand Tour ride at the Vuelta a Espana and this season marked himself out as a promising stage-race rider with a podium position at the Route du Sud and a top-five finish in the Tour of Poland.
After an encouraging first season, which yielded Team Sky’s first-ever overall victory at the Tour of Picardie, Swift came of age in 2011 with no less than five sprint victories during the opening five months of the season. That fine form earned the 23-year-old Yorkshireman his first Tour de France ride in July.
Team Sky rider, Ian Stannard, said: “I’ve learned so much from my first two seasons with Team Sky and am excited about what the future holds now I have signed this new deal. The Classics are where I want to specialise so I will be working hard to try and hit the ground running next spring. For the rest of next season I’m happy riding on the front and getting involved in the lead-outs, and if I can get in a few breakaways along the way then hopefully there could be some more victories to come.”
Peter Kennaugh added: “I was really happy to turn professional with Team Sky and they have given me tremendous support over the last two years. The team is the ideal place for me to continue progressing as a rider and I am delighted to be extending my contract with them.
“Next year my focus will be on chasing more results on the road, probably in some of the more testing week-long races and of course the London Olympics. Looking beyond that my ambition is to race some of the hilly one day races like the Ardennes Classics and continue to provide support in the mountain stages of Grand Tours as I did at the Giro d'Italia this year. These are really exciting times, and I am proud to be a part of one of the biggest teams in the world.”
Ben Swift reflected on a pleasing first two years with the team: “I’m delighted with the way things have gone over the last two years and am over the moon to have signed this new contract. The support the team have given me both on and off the bike has been absolutely fantastic and I just hope I can keep progressing now and win more bike races. We’re a really tight-knit group here and I’m really looking forward to seeing us push on and grow as a team.”
Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford commented: “Having nurtured them on Great Britain’s Olympic Academy Programme, we knew these guys had bright futures ahead of them, and they have all fulfilled that promise, and more. It has been great to watch them flourish at the very highest level of the sport and we are delighted that they have chosen to stay with the team. I have no doubt at all that these riders will go from strength-to-strength in the future and we will continue to give them all the support they need to fulfil their massive potential.”