There may be no word on Mark Cavendish’s future but Team Sky have confirmed the signing of one of the Manx Missile’s key allies in American Danny Pate.
Pate has developed a reputation as one of the strongest domestiques in the peloton and was a familiar face at the front of the chasing bunch at July’s Tour de France, closing down breakaways to help Cavendish to five stage wins and the green jersey.
“Danny is a hugely experienced rider with a fantastic pedigree,” said Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, who earlier this week admitted negotiations to bring world champion Cavendish to the team are ‘complicated’.
“As well as being one of the peloton’s strongest riders he is also a world-class time triallist and has shown again this year that he is one of the sport’s most talented riders.
“Throughout this season Danny has shown the calibre of bike rider he is with his performances for HTC-Highroad. We’ve seen him chasing down breakaways week in, week out and have been really impressed with the way he goes about his business.
“He’s capable of being on the front of the peloton for long periods, day after day, and that’s testament to the way he looks after himself both on and off the bike. His experience was also a major attraction for us and we will be looking to him to impart some of that on the younger guys in the team.”
Pate turned professional in 2000 and won the world under-23 time trial a year later. The Colorado-born rider raced widely in American before going on to join Jonathan Vaughters’ TIAA-CREF team in 2006.
The 32-year-old rode the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France back-to-back in 2008 and 2009, helping Bradley Wiggins to fourth place, before signing for HTC-Highroad.
Pate added: “I was fortunate to have a number of offers from teams for next season. After riding with HTC-Highroad, I wanted to stay at the highest level in cycling and be part of the most professional team in the peloton. That is why I have chosen Team Sky and I am delighted to be joining one of the best-structured teams ever in cycling.
“Team Sky have a fantastic back room staff, some highly talented riders and a shared motivation to be the best. I know it’s a team that I am going to do well with and I am very proud to be joining this ambitious and exciting project.
“For the team my work as a domestique will remain my main focus and on a personal level I will be looking to target the World Championship TT in 2012.”
UPDATED October 6 – Kanstantsin Siutsou signs on
Team Sky continued to build their squad for 2012 with the addition of Kanstantsin Siutsou on Thursday.
“I am very happy to be joining Team Sky and look forward to riding with my new team-mates,” said Siutsou, who finished 10th overall in this year’s Giro d’Italia for HTC-Highroad.
“The team is a strong one and I know a lot of the guys here already. I have ridden in the past with Thomas Löfkvist, Michael Barry, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Michael Rogers and Morris Possoni, and they have all told me how good it is here in terms of the organisation and the way they look after you.”
Discuss this article in this forum thread.