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Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 15:21 UK

Alex Dowsett among Sky's new recruits

Alex Dowsett
Alex Dowsett won the 2010 European Under-23 time trail in Turkey

Team Sky have announced that Englishman Alex Dowsett is one of three new riders who have joined for the 2011 season.

Columbia's Rigoberto Uran and Spain's Xabier Zandio have also signed up for the squad's second season on the road.

Dowsett, who is from Essex, is the reigning European Under-23 time trial champion, and is competing at the Commonwealth Games next month.

Team principal Dave Brailsford said: "He [Dowsett] is a real all-rounder with an incredibly bright future."

Dowsett has spent the last year with Lance Armstrong's Trek-Livestrong Under-23 development team.

His signing takes the British contingent in Team Sky's squad up to nine, six of whom are aged 25 or under.

Brailsford added: "I'm delighted that Alex is joining us; he's a young rider who has come through the British system with flying colours and will fit perfectly into our set-up."

Team Sky finished a disappointing 24th in their debut Tour de France outing this summer, but Brailsford hopes climbers Uran and Zandio will give his team the edge in its second season.

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He said: "Rigoberto and Xabier should come to the fore in the mountains, an area we have been keen to focus on."

Former Caisse d'Epargne rider Uran, 23, showed his worth in 2010 when he was seventh in the individual time trial up to Plan de Corones in the Giro d'Italia.

The Colombian also took two second places at the Tour de Suisse on the way to seventh overall and registered two top-10 finishes at this year's Vuelta a España.

"Rigoberto is a young rider with fantastic prospects, exactly the sort of person we have been keen to get on board," said Brailsford.

"He's an excellent climber who has already shone in the Grand Tour environment and I'm sure he will continue to go from strength to strength."

Brailsford explains World Road selections

Brailsford added that 33-year-old Zandio, who turned professional in 2001 and who also rode for Caisse d'Epargne, was an experienced rider and team player.

"Xabier is a rock-solid climber who brings us real experience," he said.

"He is someone who will give his teammates absolutely everything in the mountains on exactly the sort of stages which decide Grand Tours."

Team Sky, Britain's first ProTour road-racing team, was launched in January 2010 with the aim of providing a first British winner of the Tour de France by 2015.

Brailsford, who also manages the GB Olympic team, admitted that it was a "mammoth task" but believes it is going in the right direction.

"At times in some of the dark hours I've been wide awake wondering what have I done," he told BBC Sport.

"But I'm more and more confident that it's the right thing to do. I'm sure it is going to bring on young British talent. I can see the sport going through the roof."



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