Team Sky is firming up contracts for 2017 with its existing and new cyclists. Unlike like year, however, this transfer season lacks major moves.
Sky brought former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski and Mikel Landa, third in last year’s Giro d’Italia, into its black and blue colours for 2016. For 2017, it is strengthening the foundations. Team brass is meeting in these days at the Giro d’Italia with agents and cyclists.
Cycling Weekly understands the British WorldTour team is working on renewing contracts with Nicolas Roche, Salvatore Puccio, David López, Andy Fenn and others after confirming Geraint Thomas will continue.
It also has an offer to Diego Rosa. The Italian currently with team Astana, could offer support in the mountains to Chris Froome or Mikel Landa in 2017.
Spaniard Xabier Zandio will retire at the end of the year. Czech cyclist Leopold König is likely leaving the team. He placed seventh in the 2014 Tour de France with NetApp-Endura and supported Sky in the Giro last year. He was due to help Landa in the Giro this year, but knee problems ruined his spring season.
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Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Kwiatkowski will continue to lead Sky in its 2017 classics campaign. All three riders have existing contracts through next season. Pete Kennaugh, too, is still on Sky’s books.
Owain Doull is set to join already. Tao Geoghegan Hart reportedly has an offer to join, but has yet to confirm he will do so.
Riders like Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) are looking for new teams, but a Sky insider explained that it will continue to back its Italian sprinter Elia Viviani.
The Giro race jury cut him from the race for missing the time cut last week, which leaves Viviani to focus more on the Olympics.
Time trial world champion Vasil Kiryienka is due to stay in Sky’s colours with his contract running through 2017.
German Christian Knees should stay too. What is unknown is what Sky will do with Sergio Henao. His contract expires at the end of 2016, but first he and the team must sort out questions about his biological passport.