Sean Yates one of four new appointments at Tinkoff-Saxo

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Sean Yates one of four new appointments at Tinkoff-Saxo

Danish team announce former British champion and fellow ex-Sky man Bobby Julich join backroom staff for 2015

Former Team Sky directeur sportif Sean Yates has been confirmed as one of four new additions to the backroom staff at Tinkoff-Saxo.

Yates was a key figure behind Sir Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory in 2012, calling the shots from the team car before leaving the British-based squad at the end of that season.

Sean Yates, right, will join Tinkoff-Saxo next season alongside fellow former Team Sky man Bobby Julich (pic: Sirotti)

However, after a year out of the team car and a season with Continental squad NFTO Pro Cycling, the former national road race champion joins Tinkoff-Saxo for 2015, with Patxi Vila also coming on board as a directeur sportif.

Meanwhile, Bobby Julich, who left Team Sky in 2012 as a result of the British team’s zero-tolerance approach to former dopers, arrives at Bjarne Riis’ team as head coach, while Daniel Healey will become head of sports science.

Yates and Julich will be reunited at Tinkoff-Saxo with Steven de Jongh – another former Team Sky staff member who joined the Danish team in 2013.

Julich has previously worked for Tinkoff-Saxo as race coach, before leaving for Team Sky, while Yates worked with team leader Alberto Contador when the two were at Astana.

“[It] is an honour to be asked by Bjarne to join Tinkoff-Saxo,” said Yates. “It is probably the only team I would work with right now and when the opportunity came along, it was too good to turn down.

“Nevertheless, becoming the world’s best team will not be an easy task. It will require a lot of hard work, a lot of planning and a lot of communication by everybody involved. It’s going to be challenging but I like challenges.”

Sean Yates spent last season working with NFTO Pro Cycling

Julich, meanwhile, hopes to enjoy a wider-reaching role than in his previous position.

“My intention is to get involved deep in the life of the riders, not just with the training but with the life-skills advice, the tactical advice, recovery and nutrition,” said the American.

“In this new system, I would like to be the person that looks after all the details.”

With ambitious plans on the road for 2015, including Oleg Tinkov’s ‘Three Grand Tours’ proposal, and Peter Sagan joining the team for the forthcoming season, Bjarne Riis admitted he is delighted with the strength being added behind the scenes.

“[I am] happy to have Julich, Healey, Yates and Vila in the team,” he said. “They are incredibly capable professionals and I consider them an asset for any team as they come with tremendous motivation and great experience.

“They will play an important role in our new and ambitious setup going into the next season and this reflects our clear ambition to deliver results in 2015.

“They all have big theoretical and professional capacity and will be able to lift the level of our coaching and training.”

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