Team Sky, the future of their squad.

Mar 13, 2009
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What will be the makeup of the Sky Tour outfit over the next 3 or 4 years while WiggAns makes a GC tilt.

I think the core of the outfit will be

WiggAns
Froome
Augustyn
Lovqvist
Boasson
Thomas

if they pick up Nibali in 2011 he becomes a key lieutenant or co-leader. But IngeSve said, Nibali is unlikely to ride on an outfit he cannot be a leader. In two years time, those 6 riders will be part of the most talented Tour outfit. I think this board underrates the two Saffa riders, JL Augustyn and Chris Froome, who uses an expedient travelling passport, now under the UK banner.

I am bullish on Cummings, and the new neo-pro Peter Kennaugh may be more talented than the lot of them. But if GB have GC ambitions, they will not flog him as a domestique til he is 24 one would expect. This is not a Barloworld ambition when you can leave a 21yo Thomas in the autobus.

Simon Gerrans will be missing out on a spot in Tour outfits when they bring back the TTT, this is not a squad with ambitions for stagehunting.

Pauwels, Karlstrom, Possoni, even Vigano, they will be making up the numbers and not be there for the Tour outfits.

If Hayman, Hendo, Barry wish to ride the Tour, this year may be their only chance.

KA Arvesen will be the gun captain on the road for the next 2 years, but then he will probably go by the wayside.

Guys like Swift will need to be more versatile, and much stronger than sprinters to get a gig. Like Max Van Heeswijk could never penetrate a Tour outfit of USPS, there is no way a Cav or Swift will get a gig, unless they temper their ambitions and provide a different capacity for team objectives.
 
Jun 28, 2009
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The future of this team will depend on how British they want to go. If they don't care about the nationalities of the riders they probably have the funds to go out and pick up a big name rider (Contador etc.) and experience a lot of success. Their best route if national pride is at stake is to pick up Cavendish and build a team around his racing style.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Clemson Cycling said:
The future of this team will depend on how British they want to go. If they don't care about the nationalities of the riders they probably have the funds to go out and pick up a big name rider (Contador etc.) and experience a lot of success. Their best route if national pride is at stake is to pick up Cavendish and build a team around his racing style.

I do not know if they have to look elsewhere for talent.

There is Kennaugh, then his younger brother, then Rowe, Christian, Fenn. They are stocked with young talent that will compete with any other nation's 18/19 yo's.

Like to see Stannard make his mark.

In 5 years, they could easily ride with 7 or 8 riders of UK nationality on a Sky team with a GC tilt at the Tour.

Wiggins, Froome, Thomas, Cummings, Kennaugh.

That is leaving out riders like Swift and Bellis, who I do not think would cut it for domestiques in an outfit like CSC or Armstrong's Postal teams.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
and this is the beauty of brailsfords timing..

british cycling already on a crest of a wave from the track, and cav and brads respective successes..

there is already a good blend of youth and experience (in british riders) in the squad, but he knows who he has coming through and there are some very promising youngsters..

if they are seen to develop the youngsters that in turn is going to make young riders from other nations want to go to sky..

im still really dissapointed they didnt give Kristian House a go though... maybe he needs to win the british title again next year.. (im annoyed kristian as national champ didnt get to go to the worlds.. i think that should be compulsory that national champs qualify)
 
dimspace said:
and this is the beauty of brailsfords timing..

british cycling already on a crest of a wave from the track, and cav and brads respective successes..

there is already a good blend of youth and experience (in british riders) in the squad, but he knows who he has coming through and there are some very promising youngsters..

if they are seen to develop the youngsters that in turn is going to make young riders from other nations want to go to sky..

im still really dissapointed they didnt give Kristian House a go though... maybe he needs to win the british title again next year.. (im annoyed kristian as national champ didnt get to go to the worlds.. i think that should be compulsory that national champs qualify)


BC no longer just send people on a trip to the worlds. I'm sure Kristian House would be the first to admit that it would have been a waste of a ticket to send him to the worlds. A diet of Crits and Premiers of 80 miles is a recipe for a kicking at the worlds. Luckily the gold old days of the BCF sending their mates on trips are over. Jobs for the boys is still going strong though!!
 
A

Anonymous

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i think if you are national champion you have earned the right, whatever..

i firmly beleive the national champion of every country should be represented at the worlds..

wether youd succeed or fail, it reduces the value of the national champions jersey if we turn around and say they arent the best rider in the country..
 
Oct 29, 2009
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dimspace said:
wether youd succeed or fail, it reduces the value of the national champions jersey if we turn around and say they arent the best rider in the country..

Fair point, but you have to take into account the time of year, injuries, etc. For example, look at the US national champion-George Hincapie. A worthy and deserving champion in my eyes, but Leipheimer, VDV, and Lance weren't there. All those guys could have won if they weren't injured or had the ambition to win.

Perhaps a response more suited for your poll; perhaps we should continue there and keep this related to Sky.
 
dimspace said:
i think if you are national champion you have earned the right, whatever..

i firmly beleive the national champion of every country should be represented at the worlds..

wether youd succeed or fail, it reduces the value of the national champions jersey if we turn around and say they arent the best rider in the country..

The point is that they haven't earned the right to ride the worlds. They have won the National RR Champs which is a big win but the selectors have to pick the best team for the worlds and if the national champion doesn't fit in that team then they won't get picked. It is as simple as that I'm afraid. BC go to races to try to win and pick the best team that they think will enable that, taking someone along for any reason apart from that just isn't going to happen.
 
I want to clamp on to something a previous poster said and add something. It all revolves around a couple things. How British do they want to be? Is the whole 'winning the Tour with a Brit in 5 years thing' the only serious objective? Would the sponsors be satisfied if it was just a team with the highest profile British roadies (Wiggins, Cav potentially) getting good results? Or will they be happy with an excellent 'British Foreign Legion' with a slight bias towards signing established and up-and-coming British talent?

Even though they (probably) spent big to get Wiggins, I don't think that he can be seen to be a legitimate TdF winner. With the proper support and a favorable course profile (lots of TT, and longer, more gradual climbs) he might be able to podium again, but Wiggins will never beat A. Schleck or Contador when it comes to pure climbing. They will have to look elsewhere for a TdF victory.

So if the only mission is to get a TdF victory, and a Brit at that, well then you obviously have to start getting young talent, either converts from the track or pure road guys, on the squad immediately (like with Kennaugh, but in much greater numbers). Contador will still be around 5 years from now, so then that talent will have to start emerging quickly if you're going to be in a position to knock him off (I like Kennaugh, but to say already that you should bank on him being your TdF mainstay 3-5 years from now is premature).

If your plan falls under the second or third, well then the roster will continue much like it looks today, only with a couple of names changed. Right now the team looks for more built to tackle the classics, and if they can get Cav in the near future I would strongly suggest that they go down that route. Almost all big sponsor teams are focused on GT (mainly TdF) success. If they want to become a dominant classics team and compete, I definitely think they could become a force.
 
Sky have interests in the UK, Italy, Ireland, Germany and Australia so it would make sense for some of the riders to come from these countries.

Dave B has said he wants a British Tour winner and obviously things that he can develop one within a few years. He can only use the riders available so we'll see how they develop.

Sky are much more serious about getting an increase in people cycling in the UK, 1 million more over the next few years, the Pro team is a way of getting exposure for the sport. I'm sure they will love to get a Tour winner but the million increase is seen as just as important or more so that than tour win.
 
What I dislike the most about Team Sky is their determination to get a British tour de france winner - it sounds as if for example EBH should develop into becoming the best GC rider in the team (not very likely though) he would still have to work for Wiggins or whatever anyway, cause they're only interested in getting a British winner...
 
maltiv said:
What I dislike the most about Team Sky is their determination to get a British tour de france winner

I agree, I suspect they're just saying that as the British press doesn't recognise any other race than the TdF. It's the headline that gets them the press coverage.

But it's something that is mainly out of their control. That a British rider exists with the talent to win the Tour is pure chance at this point. The existence of Team Sky may over time encourage youngsters to try cycling - and eventually tjhat could unearth a GC gem - but that's likely to take > 5 years.

As it is I feel they have one British rider who could get top 10 at the tour in 2010, and a couple who if they develop nicely should also be of that standard (Froome & Kennaugh) inside the 5 years. But that's it - no obvious winner unless Contador, Schleck & Nibali all crash out.

Sky should be judged on their successes over the next season or two - not just on how Wiggins does in the Tour. I'm much more looking forward to supporting EBH & Simon Gerrans than I am Wiggins.
I also reckon Froome may impress in the Amstel and Fleche Wallonne
 
I think Sky has been pretty open about wanting a 'British' Tour champion. I have no problem with that stated goal.

If that's the case, then Wiggins is the only rider who should have spot locked up. As it pertains to other riders, all bets are off.

With that being said, there are two directions that they can go. They can either build a team around him choosing regardless of nationality or they can pepper the team with British riders who may or not be as equipped to handle the rigors of the race.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Not to dampen anyone's over-the-top enthusiasm, but that lineup at Sky doesn't exactly strike fear in the hearts of any of the established teams. At best, they resemble Garmin somewhat: marginal GT podium challenger surrounded by up-and-comers. That squad doesn't frighten Radio Shack, doesn't frighten Saxo Bank, doesn't frighten Astana, and doesn't frighten Caisse d'Epargne with regard to GC, and has nothing to challenge Columbia, Quick Step, or BMC, for that matter, in races that matter other than the grand tours.

IF Sky buys a GC contender (I mean a real one) and if they buy a few more cogs for the machine and if they manage to keep the thing together long enough to see results, then maybe I'll have to eat my words. But I doubt it.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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ImmaculateKadence said:
Fair point, but you have to take into account the time of year, injuries, etc. For example, look at the US national champion-George Hincapie. A worthy and deserving champion in my eyes, but Leipheimer, VDV, and Lance weren't there. All those guys could have won if they weren't injured or had the ambition to win.

Perhaps a response more suited for your poll; perhaps we should continue there and keep this related to Sky.

When was the last time any of those riders won a one day event?

Perhaps you should drop the patriotism. If they'd have ridden the world champs they'd have been spanked and they knew it. That is why they didn't turn up.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Sky a success? Not yet before a single race has been completed. They'll have a lean year with a few wins by Boassan Hagen. When Brad stuffs up they'll try and get Cav. He is the only sure bet Britain has.

Sky jumped queue like the Shack. They don't get any respect from me. Also the media campaign and the shameless self promoting. I hope they choke so I can have good old fashioned laugh. Look at the world rankings. Contador, Valverde and Samu are the three top riders in the world. Add in Evans, Menchov, Sastre and Andy Schleck and you have the other top GC riders on a bike for the last two years. Sky have potential riders. We always hear about potential. What people conveniently forget to mention is potential that was advertised that never flourished and delivered on its proclamations.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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VeloCity said:
Well Team Sky is at least partially Italian now:

http://www.sportinglife.com/others/...Y_NAME=cycling/09/12/15/CYCLING_Team_Sky.html

Would explain the Pinarello's and the three Italian riders.

Possoni, Vigano, and the others, merely holding ground 'til they close Nibali. Musta been in their strategy from the start, to close News' Sky ops in Italy. Think News own 50% of two ops in NZ and Aus also. But think they are small fry, only news coverage on smaller market cable tv. And everyone knows sport drives cable tv, so a news operator on a cable aint gonna be investing in a marketing vehicle.
 
Galic Ho said:
...Also the media campaign and the shameless self promoting. I hope they choke so I can have good old fashioned laugh.

Companies like Sky sponsor cycling teams for publicity. Of course they're promoting themselves - why ever not?

If any team comes along with a bit of money they're going to try and get the best riders they can that fit their plan. They're no different to Radioshack, BMC, Astana, Katusha, Cervelo...

Let's just be glad that in the middle of an economic downturn there are still companies willing to invest in cycling.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Sneekes said:
Companies like Sky sponsor cycling teams for publicity. Of course they're promoting themselves - why ever not?

If any team comes along with a bit of money they're going to try and get the best riders they can that fit their plan. They're no different to Radioshack, BMC, Astana, Katusha, Cervelo...

Let's just be glad that in the middle of an economic downturn there are still companies willing to invest in cycling.

Seeing your new to the forum I'll update you on a few things that arose in the past 3 months. I have no problem with Sky sponsoring a team. That is good. However the UCI has protocols for Pro Tour licenses. There have been a number of queue jumpers. Skil Shimano and Vancansoleil have been proven performers and were rejected. Sky and the Shack wave a cheque book and jump ahead. The Shack effectively guttered the no.1 Pro Tour team with the DS no less being the saboteur. There are ideals and values that need to be respected in life, the UCI has rules addressing these, however application of these ideals rarely takes place. Basically they have no right to jump into the sport, throw some cash around and be favoured ahead of those who have done the hard yards.

As for the self promotion. Sky have taken it beyond simple advertising. A Tour winner by 2014. They claim to have the goods and are showboating. Bragging upstarts! Thats why I said I hope they choke so their egos can come down a notch. If you believe Sky did not do what the Shack have done, check what the UCI heads have said about breaking contracts, look at the ex-Astana now Shack guys and then see what Wiggins and Brailsford conjured up to mess with Garmin. Arrogant and opportunistic. Loyalty and integrity are rare luxuries to these people that can be neglected on a whim.
 
Agree on Sky's pursuit of Wiggins, it became distasteful - I wish they'd waited a year - but other than that - I can't see what they've done wrong.
If they have more money than Vacansoleil and Skil - then they'll get better riders. It's a competition - they don't owe Vacansoleil or Skil anything - it's not like they're taking turns to be milk monitor.

And the stated desire to have British winner of the Tour within 5 years? Well, I doubt they'll achieve it, but credit to them for being ambitious. What on earth is wrong with stating that their goal is to win?
If anything - that's refreshing in British sport!

I think the gutting of Astana by the Shack was significantly worse - simply becasue of the numbers involved.
 
Sneekes said:
Agree on Sky's pursuit of Wiggins, it became distasteful - I wish they'd waited a year - but other than that - I can't see what they've done wrong.
If they have more money than Vacansoleil and Skil - then they'll get better riders. It's a competition - they don't owe Vacansoleil or Skil anything - it's not like they're taking turns to be milk monitor.

And the stated desire to have British winner of the Tour within 5 years? Well, I doubt they'll achieve it, but credit to them for being ambitious. What on earth is wrong with stating that their goal is to win?
If anything - that's refreshing in British sport!

I think the gutting of Astana by the Shack was significantly worse - simply becasue of the numbers involved.
Nothing is wrong with stating that their goal is to win, I just think it is wrong to state that their goal is to win with a british rider.

I just feel it is disrespectful to the other riders, there are so many riders from different nationalities and they might get the feeling that even if they should ride well, the team's priority will be the British riders.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Sneekes said:
Agree on Sky's pursuit of Wiggins, it became distasteful - I wish they'd waited a year - but other than that - I can't see what they've done wrong.
If they have more money than Vacansoleil and Skil - then they'll get better riders. It's a competition - they don't owe Vacansoleil or Skil anything - it's not like they're taking turns to be milk monitor.

And the stated desire to have British winner of the Tour within 5 years? Well, I doubt they'll achieve it, but credit to them for being ambitious. What on earth is wrong with stating that their goal is to win?
If anything - that's refreshing in British sport!

I think the gutting of Astana by the Shack was significantly worse - simply becasue of the numbers involved.

Nothing is wrong with stating they aim to win the Tour in 5 years. I don't think they have a hope with a British rider, no offense intended. I'm a realist and call it as I see it. But add in Maltiv's point and consider the negotiations, PR talk and overall undertaking and you combine these together Sky don't look so rosy any more.

The Tour winner in 5 years. Look at Wiggins statements this year and his change in attitude. Then consider how on earth could he possibly deliver on all of it. Natural talent? He's not that much of a freak. Contador is but he's the only one apart from Cancellara in the peloton. The subtle undertone is that something foul has been planned (clinic talk).

You entirely missed the point about Vancansoleil and Skil Shimano. Teams have to prove they deserve a Pro Tour license. Continental teams have done this. They should have been upgraded as the UCI rules indicate this. Letting Sky and the Shack jump queue only enables those with long lines of credit to get away with whatever they want. This is not a good thing. The ability to purchase favour is wrong in most civilised thought. It should be frowned upon regardless of who the teams buy. BMC and Cervelo have bought big names. They are doing the hard yards in the Continental license category. Why not Sky and the Shack? It is nothing more than elitism (ever heard of the saying that superior beliefs nurture superior attitudes, aka arrogance and narcissism). Mind you this has nothing to do with their riders. This is a management and authoritative issue with the UCI.
 
Galic Ho said:
Nothing is wrong with stating they aim to win the Tour in 5 years. I don't think they have a hope with a British rider, no offense intended. I'm a realist and call it as I see it. But add in Maltiv's point and consider the negotiations, PR talk and overall undertaking and you combine these together Sky don't look so rosy any more.

The Tour winner in 5 years. Look at Wiggins statements this year and his change in attitude. Then consider how on earth could he possibly deliver on all of it. Natural talent? He's not that much of a freak. Contador is but he's the only one apart from Cancellara in the peloton. The subtle undertone is that something foul has been planned (clinic talk).

You entirely missed the point about Vancansoleil and Skil Shimano. Teams have to prove they deserve a Pro Tour license. Continental teams have done this. They should have been upgraded as the UCI rules indicate this. Letting Sky and the Shack jump queue only enables those with long lines of credit to get away with whatever they want. This is not a good thing. The ability to purchase favour is wrong in most civilised thought. It should be frowned upon regardless of who the teams buy. BMC and Cervelo have bought big names. They are doing the hard yards in the Continental license category. Why not Sky and the Shack? It is nothing more than elitism (ever heard of the saying that superior beliefs nurture superior attitudes, aka arrogance and narcissism). Mind you this has nothing to do with their riders. This is a management and authoritative issue with the UCI.

This is the double edged sword of the ProTour, they want financial security for the teams but then choose teams based almost solely on financial power. Back in the day, teams had to prove they were worthy of a place at the top races. Of course politics was involved also but it was better than a team jsut buying their way into races.

I agree that teams like Sky and Shack should have to ride Pro Continental before rising to ProTour level. Like Cervelo last season, these teams have the riders to gurantee their entry to all the races they wish to race. If they do not perform, they have nobody else to blame except themselves.

I dont think Sky have any chance of having a British winner within 5 years, Dan Martin seems the most likely and he represents Ireland. I can understand why they would state this as their aim as the Tour is the only race the average Sky viewer knows anything about.
 
Sneekes said:
Agree on Sky's pursuit of Wiggins, it became distasteful - I wish they'd waited a year - but other than that - I can't see what they've done wrong.
If they have more money than Vacansoleil and Skil - then they'll get better riders. It's a competition - they don't owe Vacansoleil or Skil anything - it's not like they're taking turns to be milk monitor.

And the stated desire to have British winner of the Tour within 5 years? Well, I doubt they'll achieve it, but credit to them for being ambitious. What on earth is wrong with stating that their goal is to win?
If anything - that's refreshing in British sport!

I think the gutting of Astana by the Shack was significantly worse - simply becasue of the numbers involved.

+1 agreed....lets hope TEAM SKY first year is a sucess....we need more sponsors in cycling.......