Team Sky are pleased to announce that Bernhard Eisel has extended his contract until the end of the 2015 season.
Since joining the team from HTC-Highroad at the end of the 2011 campaign, Eisel has become an indispensable member of the squad and enjoyed a remarkable 12th season among the professional ranks.
He helped the team to victories at the Tour of Qatar, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne and Tirreno-Adriatico during the early part of the year before wrapping up a top-three finish himself at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen in March.
A solid Cobbled Classics campaign was to follow before Eisel made his 13th Grand Tour appearance at the Giro d’Italia. There, the 31-year-old Austrian played a key role in Mark Cavendish’s three stage victories, and also helped the Manxman stay top of the points classification until the penultimate day of action.
Eisel was employed to support Cavendish once again at the Tour de France, and as well as seeing his best friend claim another three victories there, he also provided invaluable assistance to Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome as they made it onto the top two steps of the podium.
Those performances prompted Team Sky to offer him a new deal, and Eisel is pleased to have signed on the dotted line.
He said: “I’m delighted to have extended my contract. Although I haven’t had a win this season, I’ve had a really enjoyable first year with the team and have been able to contribute to some historic performances.
“I’ve loved taking on a senior role in the squad. Having the chance to advise the younger guys is something I’ve really enjoyed doing, and want to continue doing that over the next three years.
"The fact that Mark Cavendish is leaving us made this one of the toughest decisions of my life, and I wouldn’t have stayed if I hadn’t felt absolutely at home here.
“Mark and I have ridden together since 2007 and he was my only room mate during most of that time. I haven’t just looked after him on the bike, I also regard him as a brother, so it will be strange competing against him in the future.
“In terms of 2013, I’m sure I’ll have more chances to get my first victory for the team, and at the same time I’ll continue doing what I am best at, which is helping other people win.
“We’ve accomplished so much here already at Team Sky but I’m sure there will be plenty more success in the future and I’m excited by that prospect.”