The shape of the 2012 season – or at least the shape of teams – is continuing to make itself known with the news that Saxo Bank-Tinkoff has signed new deals with American Timmy Duggan and Russian Evgeny Petrov. 30-year-old Duggan, winner of this year’s US National Road Race Championships, has signed a one-year deal after unexpectedly becoming available when his plans to join SpiderTech fell apart due to the Canadian team’s decision to suspend racing across 2013. Giro d’Italia stage winner Petrov joins on a two-year contract, leaving behind Astana.
Of his signing, Duggan says: ‘I am thrilled to join Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank. After my previous team turned out the lights, I was left scrambling for a job, but luckily Bjarne (Riis, Team Owner) saw a good opportunity in me and felt that I would be a good fit for the team. So I am thrilled to make a late signing into a fantastic situation.’
Back in the UK and Team Sky have unveiled their latest member with Shaun Stephens coming on board as Performance Coach. The 37-year-old Australian comes from a predominantly triathlon background and joins Sky from his role as Head Coach and Programme Manager at the Australian Institute of Sport and Triathlon to work fulltime alongside Head of Performance Tim Kerrison. Commenting on Stephens’ less than conventional background, Team Principle Dave Brailsford said, ‘Shaun’s appointment continues Team Sky’s commitment to assembling the very best coaching and support staff in the world, without being afraid to look beyond the arena of cycling…’