Team Sky have bolstered their squad for the 2012 season with the signing of experienced American Danny Pate on a two-year contract.
The 32-year-old will join the team from HTC-Highroad and is widely regarded as one of the hardest-working riders in the peloton.
Pate turned professional in 2000 and marked himself out as a star of the future by winning the World Under-23 Time Trial Championship in 2001. Instead of making the immediate switch to Europe though, Pate chose to concentrate on the American scene before finally making the trip over the Atlantic with Jonathan Vaughters’ TIAA-CREF team in 2006.
That season Pate won the time trial at the Tour de Beauce and also claimed top-10 finishes at both the Tour de Limousin and Tour de l'Ain. In the years that followed, Pate sacrificed his own chances of success to become one of the newly-named Garmin team’s key domestiques and rode back-to-back Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in both 2008 and 2009. That brought with it a team time trial success in Italy and also saw him bag podium places on two further occasions.
Another solid season was to follow in 2010 before the Coloradoan made the move to HTC-Highroad in 2011. Pate immediately settled in and became one of Mark Cavendish’s main lead-out men as the Manxman become the first British rider ever to win the green jersey at the Tour de France.
On his new move Pate said: “I was fortunate to have a number of offers from teams for next season. 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.”
Team Sky Principal, Dave Brailsford, said: “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.
“His experience was also a major attraction for us and we will be looking to him to impart some of that on the younger guys in the team.”