Official – Sean Yates joins Tinkoff-Saxo


A well known secret, Trainsharp’s Sean Yates joins Tinkoff-Saxo as director sportif and coach to riders

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Official – Sean Yates joins Tinkoff-Saxo

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Sean Yates is one of four key signings for the team. Bobby Julich joins Tinkoff-Saxo as Head Coach, Daniel Healey takes the newly created position of Head of Sports Science and Patxi Vila will be a sports directors. For Bjarne Riis, Team Manager, this marks an important change and a big step up in how Tinkoff-Saxo works as a team. It is ambitious and that is exactly what it takes to become the very best cycling team in the world.


Sean Yates, DS at NFTO pro cycling in 2014,  talking to Sweetspot’s Mick Bennett

Team Manager Bjarne Riis says “They are incredibly capable professionals and I consider them an asset for any team as they come with tremendous motivation and great experience. They will play an important role in our new and ambitious setup going into the next season and this reflects our clear ambition to deliver results in 2015. They all have big theoretical and professional capacity and will be able to lift the level of our coaching and training.”

Sean Yates will strengthen the team of sports directors and coach a few riders alongside Julich and Healey. He will be no stranger in Tinkoff-Saxo, having worked in the past with Bjarne Riis, Steven de Jongh and Alberto Contador, among others. For him it is “an honor to be asked by Bjarne to join Tinkoff-Saxo. “It is probably the only team I would work with right now and when the opportunity came along, it was too good to turn down.”

“Nevertheless, becoming the world’s best team will not be an easy task. It will require a lot of hard work, a lot of planning and a lot of communication by everybody involved. It’s going to be challenging but I like challenges.”

Bobby Julich is thrilled to work with Riis again as the two practically wrote the book on race coaching when the American first joined Team Saxo Bank in 2009 in the newly-created position of race coach. He enjoys taking on this new challenge and looks forward to making a successful team even better. According to Julich, in the past, “the coach solely looked after the training and the program.” That approach was limited and in his new position in Tinkoff-Saxo, Julich would like to implement what he calls a “three-dimensional play.”

“My intention is to get involved deep in the life of the riders, not just with the training but with the life-skills advice, the tactical advice, recovery and nutrition. In this new system, I would like to be the person that looks after all the details,” commented Julich.

Daniel Healey will bring a wealth of experience having built a cycling specific, multidisciplinary skill set that covers exercise physiology, sports nutrition and hands-on coaching of professional road and track cyclists. He was head of nutrition from 2008 to 2012 for New Zealand’s high-performance sports system and that work within such a big institution allowed him to make the next step.

Patxi Vila joins Tinkoff-Saxo as sports director, after a career as a pro and with the invaluable experience of performance specialist at Specialized Bicycles. His role was to help teams and riders optimize all aspects of racing, from the position of the riders on the bike to the strategies used.

“I like the future goals the team has,” commented Vila. “I think it’s good to be demanding with oneself because we are all competitive and we want to win. We have to set ambitious, but feasible, goals and given the background of this team, I’m convinced they are feasible. Such challenges not only put me under pressure, they motivate me.”

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