Canadian Cyclist


October 29/09 10:38 am - Michael Barry Joins Sky - Official Release & Barry Interview

Posted by Editor on 10/29/09

Finally, the 'open secret' is official, Canada's Michael Barry is leaving Columbia-HTC to join the new British-based ProTour squad Team Sky. Below is the official release from Team Sky, followed by a short [e-mail] interview with Michael from his home in Girona, Spain.

Team Sky today announced three more riders for the new professional road cycling team:

Michael Barry, Christopher Sutton and Serge Pauwels.

The three international riders, each drawn from different Pro-cycling teams, bring the squad roster to 19 cyclists.

Announcing the new riders, Team Principal Dave Brailsford said: "These new signings will strengthen our profile even further with regards to both the classics and the big stage races. In Michael, we have a real ambassador of the sport, a great mentor for the younger riders and the kind of rider that will make a superb captain on the road.

Chris and Serge are two really exciting talents, who have both already achieved success with strong results over the last couple of seasons. I really feel both these riders are on the brink of making their international breakthrough and it is a fantastic opportunity for us at Team Sky to help develop and work with them to achieve their full potential."

Barry is one of the most experienced pros in the peloton and has ridden for some of the sports biggest and most successful teams, including US Postal Service alongside Lance Armstrong from 2002. The 33-year old Canadian has represented his country at both Commonwealth and Olympic level. Barry joins Team Sky from Team Columbia-HTC, he is also a journalist and a published author.

Australian Sutton turned professional with Cofidis in 2005. The 25-year old sprinter won the opening stage of this year's Tour of Britain and finished a very strong second overall. With many sprint victories to his name Chris' has the talent and determination to become a genuine contender in Grand Tour sprint stages and an overall contender in week long stage races. Sutton joins Team Sky from Team Garmin-Slipstream.

The first Belgian on the team, Pauwels is a 25-year old talent who rode with both Rabobank's development team and Continental before turning Pro in 2006 with Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen. He is a great all rounder with excellent climbing skills and demonstrated his class in 2007 winning the mountains competition in the Tour Down Under. Serge comes to Team Sky from Cervelo Test Team where he came close to a major victory with a second place on the 15th stage of this year's Giro d'Italia.

The three new riders bring a fantastic blend of experience and developing talent to the squad and join their fellow Team Sky members; Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Ian Stannard, Russell Downing, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thomas Lovkvist, Kurt Arvesen, Simon Gerrans, Juan Antonio Flecha, Kjell Carlstrom, John Lee Augustyn, Greg Henderson, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Morris Possoni.

Over the following months these riders will be joined by up to five more. Further announcements will be made as other riders are secured.

Team Sky will compete from the start of 2010, beginning with the Tour Down Under, and hopes to gain an invitation to next year's Tour de France. The initial squad of around 25 riders will be supported by a team of coaches, technicians and support staff drawn from across the cycling world, many of whom work throughout the year with British elite and developing riders.

Michael Barry Interview

You've gone from one of the most successful ProTour teams to a brand new one - what prompted the move?

MB:   I am confident Sky will be a successful team from the first races of the season. We have a great group of riders - the management has created an environment that will nurture talent and push riders to reach their potential. Their philosophy was most attractive to me and the environment is one I am eager to work in. Sky is not only building the team to be the top in the world but is also committed to promoting cycling in the community, which is another reason I wanted to be a member.

How's it going to be racing without George Hincapie on the same team?

MB:  George is a good friend and although we will be on different teams we'll continue to train together daily when we are both in Girona. I will miss racing with him but we both had great options for the future years, so we had to do what was best for our families and careers.

What do you see your role as on Sky?

MB:  As a more experienced rider, the team will look to me to guide the younger riders while also being a captain on the road. My role won't change - I enjoy being a domestique and working for others so will continue to do that - but I know I have ability to perform in the harder one day races so I will have the support of the team in certain races.

Do you have an idea of what your early season schedule will be for next year?

MB:  I will likely start the season in Europe and build up towards the Ardennes classics but nothing has been finalized.

How about the Tour - is that a factor in the move?

MB:   No, I made the decision to change teams as I was impressed with the team, the structure, their philosophy and objectives. From my initial contact with the team, it was clear to me this was a group that I wanted to be a part of, as I am confident they will have a positive impact and will promote and develop cycling from the community to professional level.


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