Signing Edvald Boassem Hagen is a real coup for Team Sky, The rider from Norway is an outstanding talent, just 22-years old, Edvald currently sits third overall in the UCI rankings, having won Eneco Tour and Gent Wevelgem along with a stage in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Ten more names for British professional road cycling team, Team Sky, have been announced to follow on from the British signings Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Pete Kennaugh, Chris Froome, Ian Stannard and Russell Downing. The new signings are drawn from eight different countries and seven different professional teams. Over the following months these riders will be joined by up to ten more. Further announcements will be made as they are secured.
Announcing the new international riders, Team Principal Dave Brailsford said: “Today we’ve brought ten more riders into our team. It’s another big step in building Team Sky, and it’s very exciting to see the team take shape. “These international riders join a British contingent - a fundamental part of the team - that we announced yesterday. They bring huge experience from the Classics and Tours, real talent that we can develop, and key elements for a high performance team.
“We had a blank canvas when we started out. The aim is to get the right components – the right riders at the right time - to build a great team. All of these riders fit the ethos and performance principles at the heart of Team Sky and have the style and approach to racing that we want.” He concluded: “There will be more riders joining them and we will announce them as and when we are able to. It is very exciting for us all to be pulling together the final parts of the team.”
The initial squad of around 25 riders will be supported by a team of coaches, technicians and support staff drawn from across the cycling world, many of whom work throughout the year with British elite and developing riders. Team Sky will compete from the start of 2010 and hopes to gain an invitation to next year’s Tour de France.
The ten international riders announced by Team Sky are:
Edvald BOASSEN HAGEN Norway
An outstanding talent, just 22-years old, Edvald currently sits third overall in the UCI rankings, having won Eneco Tour and Gent Wevelgem along with a stage in this year’s Giro d’Italia. One of the brightest talents in pro cycling.
Over on CyclingNews.com, the rider team manager Dave Brailsford says was number 1 on the list, explained his move by saying "After a very rewarding start to my career with Columbia-HTC I felt it was time for me to try something new and see if I can reach further in my ambitions as a rider. I have had a great time in Bob Stapleton's team and want to credit all the people there for their help and guidance but fact is that I'm ready for new challenges. My main goals for the coming season are going to be the classics. I want to have a go at riding the Tour de France too."
His director sportif at Team Sky, Scott Sunderland also outlines his reasons on CyclingNews.com saying "I first heard about Edvald in 2005 when I was talking to Norwegian Joker-Bianchi team director Gino Van Oudenhove. Edvald really caught my attention as being a potential up-and-coming star. I've attempted to recruit Edvald for the teams I have been part of ever since. Now, thanks to the efforts Dave Brailsford has made in securing the sponsorship for the first British Pro Cycling Team, Edvald will be coming to Team Sky."
You can read more of what all the new signings have to say and what Scott thinks about them, by going to CyclingNews.com
Thomas LOVKVIST Sweden
Currently with Columbia HTC, he turned pro with Francaise de Jeux in 2004. Has had a great season, wearing the Maglia Rosa in the Giro d’Italia and winning best young rider at Tirreno Adriatico. GC and Classics prospect and a very exciting addition to Team Sky.
Kurt ARVESEN Norway
Known as a sprinter and Classics rider, he has won stages of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. Current National Champion, former U-23 World Champions and a pro for 12 seasons, he is an elder statesman who will be a good mentor to younger riders. The 34-year old has been with Saxo Bank since 2004.
Simon GERRANS Australia
Currently with Cervelo Test Team. Has won stages of all three Grand Tours this year, including the Vuelta this week, and proved a superb team player. Turned pro with Ag2r in 2005 before moving to Credit Agricole in 2008 and winning the Tour Down Under.
Juan Antonio FLECHA Spain
A highly experienced pro with ten years experience and a stage win in the Tour de France. Known as a Classics specialist, has two podium finishes in Paris-Roubaix. Brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and will play a vital role with the younger riders.
Kjell CARLSTROM Finland
Aged 32, he has been with Liquigas for four seasons having turned pro with Amore e Vita in 2002. Rode the Tour, Vuelta and Giro with Liquigas and is a stage winner in Paris-Nice. A specialist climber, reliable in 3-week tours.
John Lee AUGUSTYN South Africa
At 23-years old he is a young developing talent with potential to be a great climber. Currently with Barloworld, he rode the Tour de France with them last year. Turned professional in 2005 with Konica Minolta.
Greg HENDERSON New Zealand
The 31-year old New Zealander will join from Columbia HTC. A former World Champion and Commonwealth medal-winner he has recorded nine victories in 2009 including a stage win at this year’s Vuelta a Espana.
Lars PETTER NORDHAUG Norway
Started his career as a mountain-biker before switching to the road and becoming National Champion of Norway. The 25-year old Bianchi pro was runner-up to Russell Downing in the 2009 Tour of Ireland.
Morris POSSONI Italy
The 25-year old has had four seasons as a professional; two with Lampre-Fondital and two with Columbia HTC. Wore the best young rider jersey during the 2008 Giro d’Italia.