Brett Lancaster has announced his retirement from professional cycling after 13-years in the peloton and the last four years with the Orica-GreenEdge team. Lancaster, 36, remain in the sport, joining Team Sky as a sports director from the 2016 season. Lancaster becomes Team Sky's third Australian sports director following Scott Sunderland and Shane Sutton.
"For many years I've wanted to stay involved in cycling once I finished racing professionally," Lancaster told The Sydney Morning Herald. "This career move and for them to believe in me, it's a dream. It's moving on and it's a massive step but I'm looking forward to the challenge."
"I can't wait to get started," he added in a press release from Team Sky. "My first race of the season should be the Tour of Valencia, and that will give me my first opportunity of race experience with Team Sky. You have to learn quickly in this sport but that suits me perfectly and I'm ready for the challenge. Hopefully we'll be able to get some good results early in 2016 to kick-start our season."
Lancaster started his career in the velodrome with success in the team pursuit including several national titles, gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, world titles and gold in the event at the 2014 Athens Olympic Games. On the road, Lancaster's biggest win came in 2005 when he won the prologue of the Giro d'italia, claiming the first maglia rosa of the race. He tasted further success at the Italian grand tour when he helped Orica-GreenEdge to team time trial victory in 2014 and 2015. Lancaster was also part of the GreenEdge team which won the team time trial stage of the 2013 Tour de France.
"Just lining up in the Tour de France in that first year was amazing to be part of, but to be a part of the team time trial win and having Simon Gerrans in yellow in 2013 was incredible," Lancaster said of his time with Orica-GreenEdge, adding that his gold medal and Giro win were further highlights of his career.
"When you look at all the years, nothing comes close to the Olympic gold medal. As an athlete that is the pinnacle," he said. "And on the road winning the prologue at the Giro d'Italia and taking the Maglia Rosa is a special memory. At the time I was living in Italy and riding for an Italian team so it was even more special."
During his career, Lancaster also rode for the Milram, Cervelo Test Team and Garmin team's before joining Orica-GreenEdge in 2012. Lancaster won stage of the Herald Sun Tour, Tour de Langkawi, Deutschland Tour, Tour Of California and the Tour de Slovénie where he also won the points classification.
Team Sky's sports directors for 2016 are Nicolas Portal, Servais Knaven, Dario Cioni, Kurt Arvesen and Gabriel Rasch.