Recently retired professional QuickStep road racer Steven De Jongh will join Team Sky as sports director in 2010.
De Jongh, 35, has been with the Belgian QuickStep team for the past four seasons and is known for his wins and consistent results in the cobbled races in Northern Europe. The Dutchman ended his career as a professional bike rider at the recent Giro del Piemonte.
“Steven brings a lot of knowledge about the classics and the tough one-day races and will be a real asset to Team Sky as a sports director,” David Brailsford, team principal for Team Sky, said. “He has the right character and personality to be an excellent sports director and with him we have another great addition to our management.
“He’s a good communicator and has always been a highly-respected rider. I’m convinced that his hands-on knowledge will fit in perfectly with the technical staff we have for the classics and the other important races in our programme.
“We want to build up our management with people with a broad spectrum of qualifications combined with the right attitude about working together. I’m convinced that Steven is the right person for the job.”
Team Sky will begin the 2010 season 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, many of whom worked throughout the year with British elite and developing riders.
To date, Sky have revealed 16 riders for the new team, 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.