Briton Alex Dowsett, 21, Colombian Rigoberto Uran, 23, and Spaniard Xabier Zandio, 33, have been signed by British-based Team Sky for the 2011 season.

Uran and Zandio have been signed to boost the squad’s presence on the mountains during grand tours. Sky’s lack of climbing power in the high mountains has been the team’s weakest point this season. The signing of the former Caisse d’Epargne pair is a clear signal that Sky are rectifying the issue.

Dowsett is one of Britain’s brightest young talents, having won the under-23 European Championships time trial and had a strong season with the Trek-Livestrong development squad. He will continue his development as a first-year professional with Sky, and aim for prologue and time trial wins.

“These signings will strengthen our squad even further for our second season on the road,” said Sky team principal David Brailsford. “Rigoberto and Xabier… should come to the fore in the mountains in the Grand Tours, an area we have been keen to focus on.”

“Rigoberto is a super-talented rider who has some great results to his name this year and we are delighted that he has committed his future to Team Sky. He’s a young rider with fantastic prospects, exactly the sort of person we have been keen to get on board. He’s an excellent climber who has already shone in the Grand Tour environment and I’m sure he will continue to go from strength to strength,” continued Brailsford.

“Xabier is a rock-solid climber who brings us real experience; he is someone who will give his teammates absolutely everything in the mountains on exactly the sort of stages which decide Grand Tours.”

“We know just how talented Alex is and he’s been showing that this year, winning the under-23 individual time trial at the European Championships in Turkey this summer and getting some excellent results for the Trek-Livestrong squad. He’s a real all-rounder with an incredibly bright future and we are looking forward to him developing with us at Team Sky and achieving his full potential.”

Dowsett is currently in Australia where he will ride for Great Britain in the under-23 men’s time trial and road race.

Alex Dowsett

Age: 21

Nationality: British

Previous team: Trek-LiveStrong

Strength: Time trials

Notes: 2010 European under-23 time trial champion; Recently became one of only five riders in history to clock a sub-47 minute 25-mile time trial in UK

Alex Dowsett: Rider Profile>>

Rigoberto Uran

Age: 23

Nationality: Colombian

Previous team: Caisse d’Epargne

Strength: Climbing

Notes: Tour de Suisse, seventh overall (second on stage six)

Xabier Zandio

Age: 33

Nationality: Spanish

Previous team: Caisse d’Epargne

Strength: Climbing domestique

Notes: Completed 10 grand tours

Related links

Team Sky’s 2010 race programme – includes Sky’s results

Dowsett on flying form ahead of Worlds

Alex Dowsett: Rider Profile

  • Brendan Power

    Good to see these signings. No mention of Russ Downing who was only on a one year contract but turned out to be one of the team’s most successful riders.

  • Phil Riley

    Three excellent signings by Sky. I presume the team is not going to be bigger than last year so, who are they replacing?