It’s transfer season in the world of professional cycling. Rumours are rife about who is going where for 2010 (and beyond), but there’s one team that is the focus of more speculation than any other – Team Sky.

The British-based team, backed by the satellite broadcaster, was unveiled earlier in the year and since then many names have been linked to the squad. Some names are likely, others tentative – one thing is certain, the squad itself is remaining tight-lipped about its selection.

The team has lofty aspirations – a ProTour licence application has been lodged with the Union Cycliste Internationale and there has been talk of aiming for the 2010 Tour de France. Serious aims, for which you need a serious team.

Whilst other ProTour squads are naming their 2010 rosters, no official announcement has been made by Sky regarding its team. Here we take a stab at naming the likely line-up, based on what we’ve heard through the grapevine, via rumours and a bit of speculation.

We know that the squad will include a backbone of British riders, a number of which will come from the defunct Barloworld squad – Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Steve Cummings. Then there are the younger riders who have been through British Cycling’s development academy system, such as Ian Stannard, Jonny Bellis, Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh.

We can also speculate that the squad will need top-class international riders to contest ProTour races – such as Edvald Boasson Hagen, Juan-Antonio Flecha and Kurt-Asle Arvesen. And an Australian newspaper appeared to confirm the Aussie contingent of the team on Wednesday. 

One very big question mark hangs over the name of Bradley Wiggins. His current Garmin-Slipstream team are adamant that he’s not moving, yet Sky does need a Grand Tour contender and his name keeps cropping up. After Wiggins’ fourth place at the 2009 Tour, he would seem to be perfect for the team. We’ve added his name to the list of possibles.

Although not originally believed to be on the shortlist, Russell Downing put himself in contention after his brilliant win in the Tour of Ireland. Having the top British based rider on the team would give a huge boost to the domestic scene.

Almost definites (19)…

Chris Froome (GBr) – confirmed

Geraint Thomas (GBr) – confirmed

Steve Cummings (GBr) – confirmed

Ben Swift (GBr)

Jonny Bellis (GBr)

Peter Kennaugh (GBr) – confirmed

Juan-Antonio Flecha (Spa) – confirmed

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) – confirmed

Morris Possoni (Ita) – confirmed

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) – confirmed

Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) – confirmed

Serge Pauwels (Bel)

Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) – confirmed

Matthew Hayman (Aus)

Simon Gerrans (Aus) – confirmed

Chris Sutton (Aus)

Russell Downing (GBr) – confirmed

John-Lee Augustyn (RSA) – confirmed

Sylvain Calzati (Fra)

Possibles (4)…

Michael Barry (GBr)

Ed Clancy (GBr)

Bradley Wiggins (GBr)

Liam Killeen (GBr)

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  • nl

    Michael Barry is Canadtian, not British!

  • lee d

    I feel they will get in the tour next year !

    Stars and Watercarriers or not…….

  • Altberger

    I strongly belive that Boasson Hagen might be the best sign-on for the new Sky Team. By the facts that his only 22 years old, and in his second(!) pro season managed to reach nr 3 at the UCI world rankings – Impressive!
    He also won the classic Gent-Welwegen, Tour of Belgium + several other stage wins. An excellent allrounder who also is a strong tempo rider.

    Winner of the white jersey TDF 2010?

  • Phil Oakley

    With a line up like this, i am not sure that Sky has what it takes to get a start in the Tour de France. They need a grand tour rider. Without Wiggins or someone like him, I think they may struggle to get in the Tour in 2010.

  • Pedro

    Seems curious to me that Downing is considered a ‘possible’, yet the likes of Cummings, Clancy and Thomas are ‘shoe ins’ I’m sorry, but off the track, Thomas is nothing other than a water-carrier, with very little in the way of results on the road. In fact, does he even have a professional win on his palmares? Seems to be a bias for riders who’ve come through the Olympic programme – Russ’s results justify a contract, as he’s shown he can compete with the best in short stage races.

  • Gavin Cook

    Russ Downing should be in the team without doubt !

  • Julian Earl

    I would be really chuffed for Russ Downing if he makes it. He deserves a chance after his dominance on the local scene, and surely has the class to be considered very, very seriously.

  • Ken Evans

    Please state the 2009 UCI points tally of riders named on list, ie ranking of team in 2010.

  • Mark Jones

    I really hope Russell Downing is in the team, especially as his fellow Tour of Ireland star Lars Petter Nordhaug is down as an almost definite (who finished 7th and 2nd in the last 2 years compared with Russ’ 2nd and 1st).