Team Sky has confirmed that Sean Yates will work with the new British team as a directeur sportif in 2010.
Yates will join Scott Sunderland, Steven De Jongh and Marcus Ljungqvist as sports directors, while Rod Ellingworth is expected to have a coaching and tactical role in the team.
Yates has suffered heart problems in recent years but is now considered fully fit to and is back riding his bike.
Yates was part of the British foreign legion of riders who turned professional via the legendary French ACBB amateur team. He raced for Peugeot, Fagor, 7-Eleven and Motorola in his 14-year pro career and was a team mate of Robert Millar and Lance Armstrong.
He became the third British rider to wear the yellow jersey at the 1994 Tour de France and rode 12 Tours during his career.
He began his career as a directeur sportif with the troubled Linda McCartney team. He has worked with Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Channel and Bjarne Riis’ CSC team in the past and this year was a directeur sportif at Astana.
“I’m extremely excited to join Team Sky. Obviously for me, to be part of a British team at the highest level is something truly special. I have a lot of experience in a winning team and I look forward to helping Team Sky to fulfill its goals,” Yates said in a Team Sky press release.
“The scope and the ambition of the project is unique and I think we have put together a great team. I really believe we can be contenders on all levels in the future and I’m proud to become part of that.”
Dave Brailsford, Team Principal for Team Sky, has been a long-term fan of Yates.
“Sean brings a wealth of experience and we’ve been very keen for a long time to bring him on board. He’s well known as a hard-working sports director with a deep understanding of the sport and good connection to his riders and staff. He will be a true asset to our management team and a great colleague for the other Sports Directors we have signed.”
“Our ambition is to have our Sports Directors collaborating with the best available expert knowledge on all the relevant aspects of sport and we believe that it will provide Team Sky with a unique fundament to perform and win. Sean and the other Sports Directors will be working in a performance driven team where I’m convinced we can bring out the very best in the riders.”
Team Sky is likely to find out today if their ProTour licence application is complete and successful and aim to start make their debut at the Tour Down Under next January.
The team will hold its first formal get together for the first time next week in Manchester.