By Steve Frothingham
Michael Barry will move from Columbia-HTC to the British-based Team Sky for 2010, and the Canadian says his racing role on the new team will be similar, although he says it’s still a little odd to be one of the old-timers.
“I’ll be one of the veteran riders, which is kind of strange,” said Barry, who will be 35 next year. “The years pass quickly.”
Barry has worked closely with younger riders on Columbia in recent years, and he’ll fulfill a similar role at his new team.
“I’ve been a pro since 1998, so I have that experience. My role would be to help the younger guys, to be a domestique, as I’ve been my whole career. And if opportunities present, to go for my own results.” “
Barry says he’s been impressed with the British team’s plans to put a British citizen atop the Tour de France podium in five years. The ProTour team intends to build upon the British national team success, especially on the track, over the last decade.
“They have a great vision and they are creating an environment that will help riders progress. I visited the team’s headquarters in Manchester earlier this year and I was very impressed with the philosophy.”
Barry’s father grew up in England, and Barry, who has signed a two-year contract with the team, said he will enjoy an association with a team based in a country where he has close ties.
Team Sky’s roster also contains a few names Barry has raced with at Columbia: Thomas Lovkvist, Morris Possoni, Greg Henderson and Edvald Boasson Hagen.
Barry’s goals for 2010 include going to the Tour de France, competing in September’s Grand Prix de Québec and Grand Prix de Montréal ProTour races, and the world championships.
He’s also excited about the team’s potential in the spring Ardennes classics, with riders like Simon Gerrans, Boasson Hagen and Lövkvist.
The complete Team Sky roster to date:
John-Lee Augustyn, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Michael Barry, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Kjell Carlstrom, Steve Cummings, Russell Downing, Juan Antonio Flecha, Chris Froome, Simon Gerrans, Greg Henderson, Thomas Lövkvist, Peter Kennaugh, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Serge Pauwels, Morris Possoni, Ian Stannard, Chris Sutton, Geraint Thomas.