BSkyB has announced the creation of a professional British road cycling team, Team Sky, to be managed by Great Britain’s Olympic performance director Dave Brailsford CBE.
Team Sky will build on the principles that make British riders a consistent success on the track and will support Sky’s work as Principal Partner of British Cycling, fuelling the sport from grass roots to elite level.
And the team will expect results. Team Sky wants to create the first British winner of the Tour de France, within five years. It also aims to inspire people of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes, through the team’s positive profile, attitude and success, and add further support to competitive cycling in Great Britain.
Team Sky will have a core of British riders, coaches and support staff and its HQ will be in Manchester, home to the GB cycling team. It will compete from the start of 2010, throughout the calendar, with the objective of gaining an invitation to the Tour de France. The race schedule will include the Tour of Britain, a chance to showcase the team on home ground.
An initial squad of around 25 riders will be recruited during the 2009 calendar year. They will be supported by a team of coaches, technicians and support staff from across the cycling world, many of whom work throughout the year with British elite and developing riders. Team Sky will now start to recruit key personnel and approach commercial partners to support the new team.
Since becoming Principal Partner of British Cycling last summer Sky has used its relationship with millions of homes to encourage families to get out and ride in order to help their health, their fitness and the environment. The Sky Sports London Freewheel in September brought more than 50,000 recreational riders together to ride traffic-free streets in the heart of London.
Sky is also working with British Cycling to develop a range of inspiring events, to make cycling fun, easy and accessible to all, which will be announced in the spring.
Does this mean that Mar Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) , Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream), and David Millar (also Garmin-Slipstream) will be bought out of their current team contracts to join this new team?