Boasson Hagen, Gerrans and Lövkvist head to Team Sky

Team Sky has today named 10 more riders to join the six British riders announced yesterday.

The riders are
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) age 22 from Team Columbia

Thomas Lövkvist (Sweden) age 25 from Team Columbia

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Simon Gerrans (Australia) age 29 from Cervélo

Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain) age 31 from Rabobank

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway) age 34 from Saxo Bank

Kjell Carlstrom (Finland) age 32 from Liquigas

John-Lee Augustyn (South Africa) age 23 from Barloworld

Greg Henderson (New Zealand) age 33 from Team Columbia

Morris Possoni (Italy) age 23 from Team Columbia

Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway) age 25 from Joker-Bianchi

Eight nationalities are represented, with three of them from Norway – Boasson Hagen, Arvesen and Nordhaug.

Boasson Hagen is the biggest name to join Team Sky so far. The hugely-talented 22-year-old clinched an assured victory in the Ghent-Wevelgem Classic in the spring and followed up with a stage win in the Giro d’Italia and overall victory in the Eneco Tour.

He’s one of four riders confirmed to be switching to Team Sky from Mark Cavendish’s Team Columbia at the end of the season.

There’s a blend of youth and experience, with Arvesen, Flecha and Carlstrom all in their 30s and with long careers behind them.

But again there is an emphasis is on youth with five of the riders aged 25 or under.

There is winning pedigree as well as untapped potential. Simon Gerrans has won stages in all three grand tours, and Flecha and Arvesen have won at the Tour de France too.

By revealing these 10 international riders Team Sky’s confirmed line-up for 2010 jumps to 16 following the announcement of six British riders yesterday.

More names will be added over the coming months, but with almost two-thirds of the squad now known there is still not a leader capable of challenging for the general classification in the grand tours.


Edvald Boasson Hagen
Age 22
2006-2007 Team Maxbo-Bianchi
2008-2009 Team Columbia

One of the hottest prospects in cycling. He impressed as a sprinter when still an amateur. He won a stage of the 2007 Tour of Ireland with the Maxbo-Bianchi squad. Since turning pro with Team High Road (now Team Columbia) in 2008, he has quickly matured into a world-class all-rounder.

Last season Boasson Hagen notched a string of wins, including three stages of the Tour of Britain, at Stoke, Dalby Forest and Drumlanrig Castle.

But it is this year that he has stepped up to the top level, with a superb win at Ghent-Wevelgem in April, a stage win at the Giro d’Italia and overall victory at the Eneco Tour last month.

It remains to be seen how much better his climbing can become and whether he can evolve into a rider for the grand tours.

He is also the current Norwegian time trial champion.

Thomas Lövkvist
Age 25
2004-2007 Française des Jeux
2008-2009 Team Columbia

Swedish stage racing specialist who has a lot of experience for a rider who is still only 25. Lövkvist first rode, and finished, the Tour de France at the age of 21 in 2005. He also completed the Tour in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He also completed the Vuelta a Espana in 2007. This season he wore the pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia for a day in the first week.

Simon Gerrans
Age 29
2005-2007 AG2R
2008 Crédit Agricole
2009 Cervélo Test Team

Earlier this week the dogged Aussie joined a select band of current riders to have won stages in all three grand tours. In 2008 he won a mountain stage of the Tour de France at Prato Nevoso.

This year he won a Giro d’Italia stage at Bologna and earlier this week he outsprinted a small group at Murcia to win a stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

In the spring, Gerrans was one of the most consistent performers in the Ardennes Classics, three of the toughest single-day races in the world. He was seventh at Amstel Gold, eighth at Flèche Wallonne and sixth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Gerrans was surprisingly omitted from Cervélo’s Tour de France team, amid rumours the team’s management was not happy he travelled to the US to train with Lance Armstrong, a major rival to Cervélo’s Carlos Sastre.

In August Gerrans added his biggest one-day race win when he took the French Grand Prix Ouest France at Plouay in Brittany.

Kurt-Asle Arvesen
Age 34
1998 Asics
1999 Riso Scotti
2000 Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
2001-2003 Team Fakta
2004-2008 CSC
2009 Saxo Bank

A vastly experienced Norwegian who has enjoyed the best years of his career with Bjarne Riis’s CSC, now Saxo Bank, team.

He has experience of winning stages in the grand tours, having won during the Giro d’Italia in 2003 and 2007.  His biggest win came in Foix, during the 2008 Tour de France.

Arvesen is the current Norwegian road race champion.

Juan Antonio Flecha
Age 31 (32 on September 17)
2000-2001 Relax-Fuenlabrada
2004-2005 Fassa Bortolo
2006-2009 Rabobank

The Spaniard adds more experience and Tour de France stage winning pedigree to Team Sky.

His Tour stage win came in Toulouse during the Centenary Tour in 2003. Fans may remember his victory celebration in which he pretended to fire an arrow – acknowledging the meaning of his surname.

He has also won the Championship of Zurich World Cup race.

Flecha is slightly unusual among Spaniards in that his preferred territory is the cobbled Classics of Belgium and northern France.

He has finished third in Paris-Roubaix (2005), fourth (2006) and second (2007) and runner-up in Ghent-Wevelgem (2005) and third in the Tour of Flanders (2008).

Kjell Carlstrom
Age 32
2002-04 Amore & Vita
2005-2009 Liquigas

A domestique for the grand tours, Carlstrom has completed the Tour de France three times. His biggest race victory was a stage of Paris-Nice at Saint-Etienne in 2008.

John-Lee Augustyn
South Africa
Age 23
2005-2006 Team Konica Minolta
2007-2009 Barloworld

Talented South African who is currently perhaps best known for being the first rider to the top of the Col de Bonette-Restefond during the 2008 Tour de France. Shortly after crossing the summit of the mountain, which is the highest road pass in France, he misjudged a corner and was sent plummeting down the rocky slopes.

Greg Henderson
New Zealand
Age 33
2002-2003 7-Up Maxxis
2004-2006 Health Net
2007 T-Mobile
2008-2009 Team Columbia

Today (September 10) is Henderson’s 33rd birthday. Henderson is a sprinter who cut his teeth racing in the criterium-heavy circuit in the US.

His big break came at the end of stage three of the Vuelta a Espana a fortnight ago when he outsprinted the bunch to take his first grand tour stage win.

Morris Possoni
Age 23
2006-2007 Lampre
2008-2009 Team Columbia

Possoni is a good climber and has shown flashes of potential in the shorter stage races and hilly one-day events.

Lars Petter Nordhaug
Age 25
2005-2007 Team Maxbo-Bianchi
2008-2009 Joker-Bianchi

Another hugely talented young Norwegian, following in the footsteps of Cervélo’s Thor Hushovd and Team Sky’s new recruit Boasson Hagen.

Last year he impressed at the Tour of Ireland, taking seventh place overall.

Last month he went even better, winning the stage to Cork and finishing second overall behind another Team Sky rider, Russell Downing.

Steve Cummings
Russell Downing
Chris Froome
Peter Kennaugh
Ian Stannard
Geraint Thomas