Australian Michael Rogers has announced that he is joining British-based Team Sky for next season on a two-year deal.
The former HTC-Columbia rider will bolster the team’s line-up for 2011, and joins Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Greg Henderson on the team.
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Rogers will focus on shorter stage races, particularly those that feature an individual time trial. This season he won the Tour of California and Tour of Andalusia.
“Week-long stage races are going to be my main priority at the start of the year but that’s not to say I won’t be riding Grand Tours anymore,” Rogers said.
“I’m in the peak years of my career and I’d like to think if things go well I could still have something to offer in those races as well. We’ll just have to see.”
Rogers’ move to Sky was strongly rumoured in mid-September when he announced that he would be leaving HTC-Columbia at the close of the 2010 season. Until now, both Sky and Rogers have denied – or failed to comment on – the move.
Just when it seemed that Rogers’ move to Sky was a done deal earlier this month, Sky Team Principal David Brailsford issued a statement to quash the rumours, saying that there was no Rogers deal, and that he had been misquoted in the press.
The Australian is the sixth confirmed new signing for Sky for 2011, and he joins climbers Rigoberto Uran and Xabier Zandio (Caisse d’Epargne) along with Italian Davide Appollonio, and Britons Jeremy Hunt (Cervelo) and Alex Dowsett (Trek-LiveStrong).
Rogers won the time trial World Championships title for three consecutive years between 2003-2005.