Team Sky’s line-up for 2013 is starting to take shape, with an even greater focus on the Grand Tour general classification than this year’s squad.
With the British team’s usual late-season drip feed of official new signing announcements, an influx of climbers and bunch engines arrive to support Sky’s aim of Grand Tour dominance.
Grand Tour big hitters and key domestiques Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Richie Porte, Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao are of course all staying put, but the movements in and out of the squad suggest a line-up more geared around supporting them.
Dario Cataldo’s switch from Omega Pharma-QuickStep was confirmed recently, some six weeks after reports of a signed deal surfaced.
Spaniard David Lopez became the second rider to transfer from Movistar to Sky for 2013 after Vasil Kiryienka. The news that highly-rated 21-year-old Americans Joe Dombrowski and Ian Boswell had also signed for the team hint that the squad also has half an eye on developing riders for future Grand Tour success.
Tour of Britain winner Jon Tiernan-Locke’s move from Endura Racing has been confirmed while Mark Cavendish is expected to announce he is officially leaving Sky imminently.
The former world champion spearheads a list of departures that includes fellow sprinter Davide Appollonio and Classics specialist Juan Antonio Flecha, further concentrating focus on GC contention.
Scandinavians Thomas Löfkvist and Lars-Petter Nordhaug are also on their way to fresh pastures while long in the tooth domestiques Jeremy Hunt and Michael Barry are hanging up their wheels.
Although he said there was no set date for confirming the 2013 line-up, Team Sky ‘s press officer Dario Cioni told CW he expected the full roster to be known by mid-October when next year’s team will meet for the first time.
■ Edvald Boasson Hagen
■ Bernhard Eisel
■ Chris Froome
■ Mathew Hayman
■ Sergio Henao
■ Pete Kennaugh
■ Christian Knees
■ Danny Pate
■ Richie Porte
■ Salvatore Puccio
■ Luke Rowe
■ Kanstantsin Siutsou
■ Ian Stannard
■ Chris Sutton
■ Ben Swift
■ Geraint Thomas
■ Rigoberto Uran
■ Bradley Wiggins
■ Xabier Zandio
■ Davide Appollonio (Ag2r La Mondiale)
■ Michael Barry (retiring)
■ Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
■ Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM)
■ Jeremy Hunt (retiring)
■ Thomas Löfkvist (Team IAM)
■ Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Rabobank)
■ Ian Boswell (Bontrager-Livestrong)
■ Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
■ Joe Dombrowski (Bontrager-Livestrong)
■ Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar)
■ David Lopez (Movistar)
■ Gabriel Rasch (FDJ-Big Mat)
■ Jon Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing)
■ Alex Dowsett
■ Michael Rogers
■ Davide Martinelli
The original version of this article appeared in Cycling Weekly magazine, October 4 2012 issue