Team Sky on target
Majority of targets in bag for debut season
Last Updated: 25/08/09 4:50pm
Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford has revealed they have already secured the majority of their targets for the squad ahead of their debut season.
The British Cycling performance director has spent recent weeks in negotiations to bring in riders as they look to produce a British Tour de France winner.
And while no names will be announced until the transfer window opens on September 1, Brailsford says their recruitment plans are already well underway.
"We've got 17 or so riders secured out of the 25," said Brailsford.
"We had a target list and the majority of them are in the bag."
Brailsford admits that the £30 million sponsorship deal with Sky has led some riders to ask for exorbitant sums, but he says they will not be held to ransom.
"It's about having a plan, doing your homework, knowing how much you're willing to pay and knowing what's important to you," he said.
"People are trying it on for sure - the reality is we are pretty sure what people's market values are."
Garmin-Slipstream rider Bradley Wiggins, who finished fourth in this year's tour, is reportedly among those under consideration for the remaining places.
Brailsford says that Wiggins made his breaktrhough at this year's Tour because of a change in attitude.
"The main factor with Bradley I think is belief - he now truly believes he can challenge for a race like the Tour de France.
"His focus since Beijing has been on the Tour, and he's sought out the right people and found the right way to lose the weight but regain his power and you've seen how that worked.
"Once he sets his sights on something he can push himself as hard as anyone. With him and Mark Cavendish we've seen the most British success in the Tour."
Cavendish is highly unlikely to be riding with Team Sky next season as he still has a couple of years left on his Colombia contract - and he would need to be convinced to leave a team which has brought him so much success.