Team Sky name Marcus Ljungqvist as sports director

British squad taking shape for 2010

Recently retired pro road cyclist Marcus Ljungqvist will join Team Sky in the new year as a sports director, the squad announced today.

Ljungqvist joins senior sports director Scott Sunderland and recently announced sports director Steven De Jongh in the new professional road team.

“We are really pleased to have Marcus on board with us and he will work well with Scott and Steven," said David Brailsford, team principal for Team Sky.

"The guys know the cycling world inside out and will be able to bring invaluable knowledge with them to the team. We have been busy this summer putting together the right group of people and building a broad team; we are in great shape.”

The 34-year-old Swede enjoyed a successful 12-year riding career, most recently with Bjarne Riis's Team CSC/Team Saxobank since 2006.

“I’m very excited about my new career move," Ljungqvist said. "Just a couple of weeks ago I was still a rider and had some tough decisions to make about my future. Then this opportunity came along and I immediately thought ‘yes!’ This is a fantastic possibility for me and I can't wait to be a part of one of the most exiting things ever to happen in professional cycling.

"I’ve been involved in the sport for my whole life – the past 12 years as a professional – and it’s great that I can stay involved with a sport that I love and use my knowledge and experience to help develop Team Sky."

Team Sky will compete from the start of 2010, beginning with the Tour Down Under, and hope to gain an invitation to next year’s Tour de France. 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.

To date, Team Sky have revealed 16 riders for the new squad with more to be announced. Six British riders – Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Pete Kennaugh, Chris Froome, Ian Stannard and Russell Downing – line up with 10 international riders – Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thomas Lovkvist, Kurt Arvesen, Simon Gerrans, Juan Antonio Flecha, Kjell Carlstrom, John Lee Augustyn, Greg Henderson, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Morris Possoni.

For more racing news, visit Cyclingnews.com.

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