Team Sky has signed two accomplished young British riders for the 2017 season, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Owain Doull.
Geoghegan Hart, 21, joins Team Sky for the after racing with Continental team Axeon Hagens Bermans as well as competing as a Sky stagiaire in 2015 at the Giro Del Piemonte and Japan Cup. The young rider has enjoyed a strong 2016 season as the British U23 national road race champion, winning the Trofeo Piva and finishing 12th at both the Amgen Tour of California and Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
“It’s super exciting for me. There are guys here who have come through a similar path to me and also have a background on the track,” Geoghegan Hart said. “I was on British Cycling’s program up until the age of 18 when I went to Axeon, so these are riders that I have looked up to for a very long time. To be teammates with them is very exciting, and hopefully it will make the step up into being a WorldTour rider a little bit easier.”
Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said, “We’ve been following Tao for a long time now and obviously had him with us as a stagiaire at the end of last year. He’s continued to show real progress this season and we’re delighted he’ll be taking the next steps in his career with Team Sky.”
Owain Doull, 23, is also joining the WorldTour team for the 2017 season. He is fresh off a gold medal on the track in Rio in the team pursuit. Doull will continue the 2016 season riding as a stagiaire for Team Sky. Doull reminisced about his childhood dreams with news of the signing, “When Team Sky formed in 2010 I was 16 years old and I’d just started racing properly as a junior. It’s always been a bit of a boyhood dream to try and join Sky. So to finally be at a stage where I’m about to start racing for the team, and then joining the team properly in 2017, is a bit surreal.”
Brailsford said he was delighted the team could sign fresh British talent rather than going abroad for new blood. “From a personal perspective, it’s always great to be bringing young British talent into Team Sky and it reflects very well on the investment and support Sky has provided through the British Cycling program, the Wiggins team and, of course, Team Sky.”