Team Sky recently announced five major additions to their roster for 2015; with the confirmation of Nicolas Roche’s arrival being the worst kept secret in the peloton. Alongside the highly experienced Grand Tour Irishman, who has been a loyal lieutenant of Alberto Contador’s recently, comes the exciting addition of Leopold König. The Czech rider has been progressing impressively upon each Grand Tour appearance, with a 9th and 7th place at his respective Vuelta and Tour de France debuts. He could function as a great assistant to Chris Froome, but the real ambition of having signed such a great prospect will be to have him lead a Grand Tour team of his own soon.
In an attempt to bolster Team Sky’s profile amongst the One Day Classics are Britain’s Andy Fenn and the returning Lars Petter Nordhaug. Fenn, The former British Cycling development product, has been supporting Mark Cavendish in recent years and has formed a reliable reputation; despite still only being 24 years old. The return of Lars Petter Nordhaug will be well received by all at Team Sky, his original departure being somewhat of a surprise considering his talents as a classics man in a team bereft of such riders. Combining the talents of the Norwegian rider with Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Andy Fenn will raise hopes of Team Sky finally taking their debut Monument. Finally, Dutchman Wout Poels has also made the move from OPQS alongside Fenn and will be a solid purchase ahead of another year of Grand Tour campaigns.
The purchase of five riders would be costly for any team, but the quality of those who have signed up to Team Sky can only mean one thing – more riders are set to leave. With the recent financial regulations having capped teams at a maximum of 30 riders, Sky will need to shift more riders alongside Edvald Boasson Hagen’s departure to MTN-Qhubeka. Bradley Wiggins is yet to sign another contract and with his eyes set predominately on the track, a lower tier development squad has been suggested as a vessel in order to keep him on the road when required. Such a move would free up space while still being signed to Sky, but only if he drops below Pro-Continental level in order to register this new development team. A favourite to leave the British outfit is the American Joe Dombrowski, who has been strongly linked with the recent merger of Garmin-Slipstream and Cannondale. Out of the door along with the young American is likely to be Dario Cataldo, the Italian Time Trial specialist is linked strongly with being the latest addition to Astana’s support network for Vincenzo Nibali and it only seems a matter of time before this is confirmed.
Further strong rumours amongst the Italian press today regarding Team Sky, are the possible signings of Sonny Colbrelli, Elia Viviani and junior Filippo Ganna. If true, this would really aid Team Sky in becoming a more well rounded competitive outfit across the race calendar; with Colbrelli slotting in alongside the growing Classics team, Viviani providing them with a sprinter to ride for and Ganna being a prospect for the future after impressive performance at the Junior World’s Road Race, Individual Time Trial and Paris-Roubaix.