Team Sky Sign Five New Riders

Team SkyTeam Sky has announced the signing of five new riders for the 2015 season – Andrew Fenn, Leopold König, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Wout Poels and Nicolas Roche.


Andrew Fenn (GB) – Fenn joins Team Sky after three years in the professional ranks. In 2012, his debut season as a pro, he won back-to-back victories at the Trofeo Palma and Trofeo Migjorn in Mallorca. Winner of the junior Paris-Roubaix in 2008, Fenn is a powerful rider with a fast finish and is well suited to the Classics.


Leopold König (Czech Rebublic) – One of the biggest up-and-coming talents in the sport, König recently securing a seventh-place finish at this year’s Tour de France. His climbing and time trial abilities make him an all-rounder, with stage victories at the Vuelta a Espana, Tour of California and Tour of Britain.


Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway) – Nordhaug returns to Team Sky after two years away. A founding member of the team in 2010, the Norwegian is an accomplished climber and his attacking style invariably sees him battling it out for victory at the end of races.


Wout Poels (Holland) – Set to be the first Dutchman to ride for Team Sky, Poels is another accomplished climber with experience of all three Grand Tours. He has taken stage victories at high-profile races including the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Tour of Britain and Tour de Luxembourg during his six-year pro career.


Nicolas Roche (Republic of Ireland) – With 13 Grand Tour appearances to him name Roche has experience in abundance and will significantly add to Team Sky’s climbing powers. In 2013 he finished in fifth place at the Vuelta a Espana, this year he claimed victory in the Route du Sud and claimed a fifth place finish in the 2014 Tour of Britain.


Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford says of the signings: ‘We’ve signed five quality riders for next season and each one of them will help strengthen and enhance the squad. We’ve always set our standards high and been very ambitious with our goals. We want to win the biggest races and constantly improve as a team and these new riders have the proven experience and developing talent to perform now and in the future… We have a strong nucleus of riders at Team Sky and these signings will be excellent additions to the squad. They all bring their own qualities and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to the team and seeing them in action next season.”


More on Team Sky at


Giro d’Italia 2014 Route

giro_italia_largeFull details of the route for the Giro d’Italia 2014 have been unveiled. It will begin on Friday, May 9 in Northern Ireland at the Titanic Belfast visitor centre with a 21.7km Team Time Trial, with the second day (218km) beginning in Belfast and taking in Antrim, Bushmills and the Giant’s Causeway. Day three of the non-Italian action is a 187km cross-border route from Armagh to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. The day-early start, accepted and ratified by the UCI for 2014, has been introduced to facilitate an extra rest day for the transfer of the race to the Italian in Giovinazzo on May 13. 2014 marks the 11th time that the Giro has started outside of Italy.


Saxo-Tinkoff’s Nicolas Roche, who participated in the presentation launch for the Giro d’Italia 2014, commented on the inclusion of both Northern Ireland and the Republic: ‘I think it’s great. I know that people have been working very hard for many years to get the Giro to the two countries so I think it’s really exciting and it’s a huge achievement for the people involved and for both countries to host this fantastic cycling event. For the cycling fans in both countries, it’s going to be a unique experience…’


The full route for the Giro d’Italia 2014 Route is:


Stage 1 May 9, Belfast – Belfast 21.7km (TTT)

Stage 2 May 10 Belfast – Belfast 218km

Stage 3 May 11 Armagh – Dublin 187km

Rest Day

Stage 4 May 13 Giovinazzo – Sari 121km

Stage 5 May 14 Taranto – Viggiano 200km

Stage 6 May 15 Sassano – Montecassino 247km

Stage 7 May 16 Frosinone – Foligno 214km

Stage 8 May 17 Foligno – Montecopiolo 174km

Stage 9 May 18 Lugo – Sestola 174km

Rest Day

Stage 10 May 20 Modena – Salsomaggiore Terme 184km

Stage 11 May 21 Collecchio – Savona 249km

Stage 12 May 22 Barbaresco – Barolo 46.4km (ITT)

Stage 13 May 23 Fossano – Rivarolo Canavese 158km

Stage 14 May 24 Agliè – Oropa 162km

Stage 15 May 25 Valdengo – Montecampione 217km

Rest Day

Stage 16 May 27 Ponte di Legno – Val Martello 139km

Stage 17 May 28 Sarnonico – Vittorio Veneto 204km

Stage 18 May 29 Belluno – Rif. Panarotta 171km

Stage 19 May 30 Bassano del Grappa – Cima Grappa 26.8km (ITT)

Stage 20 May 31 Maniago – Monte Zoncolan 167km

Stage 21 June 1 Gemona del Friulli – Trieste 169km


For further details on the Giro d’Italia 2014 see



Greig Leach the Art of the Tour de France 2

Today’s offering from artist Greig Leach is from yesterday’s Stage 16 of the Tour de France with Rui Costa (who, of course, went on to win the 168km leg from Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap) attacking on the final climb with Dani on his wheel and Nicholas Roche trying to bridge across. Greig Leach is a one-time amateur club bike racer, participating in the DC and Richmond, Virginia areas of the US; he’s also a talented (and successful) artist with a passion for capturing the urgency and energy of the Pro Tours. Throughout this week we will be bringing you some of his highlights. To learn more about his work and for details of his substantial output from this year’s Tour see and also


Greig Leach


Featured Features

Nicholas Roche Interview

Nicholas Roche Team Saxo-Tinkoff interview

French-born Nicholas Roche has been a pro rider since late 2004 when he signed with Team Cofidis as one of their youngest squad members. A talented all-rounder, his many successes encompass the 2007 National Time Trial Champion title, the 2009 National Road Race Champion title and strong stage wins including Tour de l’Avenir, Tour de Limousin and the 2011 Tour of Beijing. The 2013 season sees him joining Danish squad Team Saxo-Tinkoff, supporting Alberto Contador and tackling his first race in the new team jersey at the five-day French stage race Tour Mediterraneen, which runs February 6 – 10. Ahead of the race and season in general, Cyclo thought we (and you) should get to know this rising star better…


On childhood sports


I was a hyperactive kid so the way to keep me quit was putting me in sports so from the age of four or five I was already running in a club. First it was cross-country and later I took on 800meters, which is a tough distance as it’s a really long sprint. But I loved it. Turning 10 or 11, I picked up soccer because it was more sociable. All my friends were doing soccer so I tried one time and liked it right away.


Later, I took on cycling and rugby for a few years until we moved back to France where I tore my ligaments so I couldn’t play soccer or rugby anymore. To keep me going I continued cycling until me knee felt better and thought I was going back to soccer or rugby but I was good at racing so I stayed in the saddle from the age of 15. Actually, I had a pretty hard program before I tore my ligament with rugby training on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and cycling Wednesdays and rugby match Saturday and cycling race on Sundays. That was my childhood in sports.


On his proudest cycling result


Probably when I was 6th in the Vuelta in 2010. I was proud, but at the same time pissed at myself. I had a great opportunity, as I was fourth in the final week of the race. I put so much pressure on myself in the final time trial because I was aiming to get third. Having Fränk Scheck just in front of me I was hoping to pass him during the race but I ended up losing a lot of time on that stage. we were about seven riders within 1 minute and 30 seconds and dropping from hopefully third overall to seventh three days before the final stage was just so frustrating. It was a life time opportunity, I was in the best shape of my life but I ruined my big chance with stress so of course, I was mad at myself.


However, my win in Beijing in 2011 meant a lot to me as well. In the morning before the race I said to my teammates that I wanted to attack as there was only a few seconds from my 15th place to 8th. On the climb, I told them to ride full gas but I knew we weren’t strong enough to make it to the top so I was hoping that another team would join us up there. Thankfully, Sky went to the front as well and put a huge pressure on the peloton and in the final I went alone. Tour of Beijing might not be as prestigious as the other World Tour races but I’m proud of the way I won.


On choosing Team Saxo-Tinkoff


It’s something that I have had in the back of my head for years and actually since I started cycling where Fabian Cancellara and Stuart O’Grady were a huge inspiration and I’ve always hoped that sooner or later I would have the opportunity to come to the team. Now, I’ve matured and Bjarne has showed over the years that he’s a great tactician and he has helped a lot of riders to move on and progress and they’re just a great fit for me at this point of my career.


On 2013 ambitions


Hopefully, I can be a part of the Tour de France line-up and help Alberto making it to the top and I hope that I’ll have a chance or two throughout the year to make it on my own. Usually at this time of the year, I’d panic if I didn’t know my schedule but I have confidence in Bjarne and the sports directors and I’ll let them surprise me. I’ll be happy with whatever they come up with.


On rituals


I remember when I was playing soccer, I’d sit and watch videos of David Girona’s best goals to inspire me how to shoot but I have no rituals like that anymore besides putting on my numbers in the evening before the race or in the bus on the morning rather than in my room. I also use music on the way to races to start thinking about the tactics and imagine my own scenarios.


On alternative employment


I was studying to go into hotel management because my dad had a hotel. So my plan was to study management and to go into hotel management and later on get a job in the hotel business. Actually, I dropped my education just before going to university as I wanted to become a professional rider so as an amateur rider I had a job at my dad’s hotel and we made a deal that if I weren’t a pro within two years I were to go back to studying. At the end of the first year, I turned professional.


On spare time


In the off-season, I like to just spend time at home, watching DVD’s, checking my email and thinking about new projects. For the last two years I’ve been writing a book and this year I decided to organize a few events in Ireland as I have started up my own junior team. Sometimes I just sit down with a piece of paper and launch new ideas.


My typical day during the season is going training early at nine and I’ll be back home at three at the latest, have my lunch, watching a DVD to guarantee myself two hours rest, then I’ll go a walk, get a cup of coffee, read the paper and get home to dinner at eight. The day goes by fast. As my knee will be sore from most other activities, I like to go trekking on my own in the off-season. I’ll get my backpack and just walk for up to five hours in the mountains of Italy and Switzerland. The more snow and the harder it gets, the more I enjoy it.


©Team Saxo-Tinkoff. With thanks to Team Saxo-Tinkoff and Nicholas Roche. More on the team at and on Nicholas at