Danny Pate has joined Team Sky on a two-year deal. He becomes the first rider from the United States to join the team and leaves HTC-Highroad after one year with the soon to be defunct squad.
The 32-year-old turned professional in 2000 and was the World Under-23 Time Trial Champion a year later. In 2006 he broke into the European racing scene with TIAA-CREF, which later developed into Garmin Slipstream and the American formed part of their first Tour de France line up in 2008. He rode the Tour the following year as well as the Giro d’Italia.
“I was fortunate to have a number of offers from teams for next season,” Pate said in a Team Sky press release.
“After riding with HTC-Highroad, I wanted to stay at the highest level in cycling and be part of the most professional team in the peloton. That is why I have chosen Team Sky and I am delighted to be joining one of the best-structured teams ever in cycling.”
“Team Sky has a fantastic back room staff, some highly talented riders and a shared motivation to be the best. I know it’s a team that I am going to do well with and I am very proud to be joining this ambitious and exciting project. For the team my work as a domestique will remain my main focus and on a personal level I will be looking to target the World Championship TTT in 2012.”
Pate will add experience and strength to Sky’s line up after the departure of Steve Cummings to BMC last week and Sky’s Dave Brailsford highlighted Pate’s all-round talent as one of the reasons for signing him.
“Danny is a hugely experienced rider with a fantastic pedigree. As well as being one of the peloton’s strongest riders he is also a world-class time triallist and has shown again this year that he is one of the sport’s most talented riders.
“Throughout this season Danny has shown the calibre of bike rider he is with his performances for HTC-Highroad. We’ve seen him chasing down breakaways week in, week out and have been really impressed with the way he goes about his business. He’s capable of being on the front of the peloton for long periods, day after day, and that’s testament to the way he looks after himself both on and off the bike."