Sean Yates and Bobby Julich head to Tinkoff-Saxo for 2015

Sean Yates will join Tinkoff-Saxo as directeur sportif for the 2015 season, assisting Alberto Contador in the Grand Tours

Sean and Jesse Yates, National 10-mile time trial championships 2014

Sean Yates's return to the WorldTour with Tinkoff-Saxo was confirmed today. The former head Sports Director of Team Sky had been working with British outfit NFTO in 2014 but will re-unite with Bjarne Riis in 2015 as Cycling Weekly revealed in September.

American Bobby Julich will also join the Russian, Danish squad bank-rolled by Twitter-loving, Russian Oligarch Oleg Tinkov.

"For Bjarne Riis, Team Manager, this marks an important change and a big step up in how Tinkoff-Saxo works as a team," read a statement. "It is ambitious and that is exactly what it takes to become the very best cycling team in the world."

Julich and Yates will re-unite with Dutchman Steven de Jongh at Tinkoff-Saxo. All three left Team Sky at the end of 2012 when the British team renewed its zero-tolerance policy in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal. At the time both Julich and and De Jongh admitted using EPO during their riding careers while Yates chose to retire.

Yates rode with and then later directed Lance Armstrong, and although he denied ever doping during his career, Sky's 'no association with doping' aim had to be strictly enforced after the team was left with egg on it's face over Michael Barry's admission . Yates has not worked for a top team since helping Bradley Wiggins to win the 2012 Tour de France.

Having quit Team Sky Julich, 42, returned to coach BMC Racing this season.

Tinkoff's growing back-room staff will focus on Alberto Contador and his target to win both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France next season and bringing Peter Sagan in to the set up.

"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," Riis said.

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

"[It is] an honour to be asked by Bjarne to join Tinkoff-Saxo," explained 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."

Julich will become the head coach and Yates a sports director. Riis also appointed Spaniard Patxi Vila as a sports director and Daniel Healey as Head of Sports Science.

Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan join Tinkoff-Saxo team-mates to climb Kilimanjaro

British sports director Sean Yates will also join the Tinkoff-Saxo team-building trek in Africa

Sean Yates linked to Tinkoff-Saxo for 2015

Former Sky and current NFTO directeur sportif Sean Yates could move back into the WorldTour next season

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.