Team Sky Signs Aussie Coach Shaun Stephens

LONDON, Nov 14, 2012 (AFP) – Team Sky have appointed Australian Shaun
Stephens as performance coach for the 2013 season, the British-based outfit
announced Wednesday.

Stephens was head coach of the Australian triathlon team at London 2012
where a British track cycling squad, under the guidance of Sky boss Dave
Brailsford, won a slew of Olympic gold medals.

The 37-year-old Stephens will leave his current roles as head coach and
programme manager at the Australian Institute of Sport and Triathlon Australia
to work full-time alongside Team Sky’s head of performance Tim Kerrison.

Sky had a brilliant 2012, with two of their riders, Bradley Wiggins and
Chris Froome finishing first and second respectively in the Tour de France,
with Wiggins’s victory seeing him become the first British winner of road
cycling’s most famous race.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to work as part of the Team Sky
programme,” Stephens said.

“I have watched their outstanding performances with interest over the last
three years and have been impressed by how they have assembled their team and
introduced innovative performance strategies to cycling.

“I’m looking forward to contributing to the team and bringing in new ideas
through my sport science and coaching knowledge of triathlon.

“I believe it is Dave Brailsford’s vision of introducing a diversity of
skill sets… that has given Team Sky a competitive advantage over other teams.

“I look forward to the challenges of understanding the intricacies of a new
sport and assisting Team Sky build upon the enormous success they have already
achieved.”

Meanwhile Sky principal Brailsford, never one for resting on his laurels,
said: “Shaun’s appointment continues Team Sky’s commitment to assembling the
very best coaching and support staff in the world, without being afraid to
look beyond the arena of cycling.

“It is incredibly exciting to be bringing fresh expertise into the sport,
and further reinforces this team’s desire to break new ground in the field of
performance.

“The team has taken tremendous strides since the appointment of Tim
Kerrison, who came from swimming, and we hope that with Shaun on board we can
maintain our position as the world’s number one cycling team.”

Stephens’ appointment came following three recent departures from Team Sky
after Brailsford re-emphasised the squad’s zero-tolerance approach to doping
following the Lance Armstrong scandal.

American Bobby Julich left Sky after revealing he took blood-booster EPO in
his racing career and Steven de Jongh left his role as a sporting director
after admitting to taking performance-enhancing drugs while a rider.

Sean Yates announced his retirement from professional cycling, leaving his
role as senior sports director, but refuting reports his departure was forced.

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