Team Sky trio Juan Antonio Flecha, Christian Knees and Michael Barry have signed new contracts with the British cycling outfit ahead of the 2012 season, Sky announced Thursday. Flecha and Knees both penned two-year deals while Barry has extended his current agreement by a further 12 months. Spaniard Flecha is an experienced Grand Tour rider who is also an ever-present threat on the tough cobbled classics.
“I am really happy to be riding for the team again next season. The improvements we have made over the last year have been testament to the amount of work we have put in and I am really excited about what 2012 will bring,” said Flecha. “The cobbled classics will be my main focus, as always, but I am also looking forward to helping the team throughout the rest of the season.”
Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Principal, said: “At Team Sky we are always striving to improve as a team and retaining our key riders is a vital component of that strategy. We are delighted that three world-class talents in Michael, Christian and Juan Antonio have seen Team Sky as the best place to continue their careers. As athletes, their records at the very highest level of our sport speak for themselves. All three have contributed hugely to our success as a professional team and we all look forward to continuing that momentum into 2012 and beyond.”
Team Sky signed British world champion Mark Cavendish earlier this week, virtually guaranteeing stage success at next year’s Tour de France. Cavendish has won 20 stages in five years on the race while racing with HTC-Highroad.