6.27.2014

Tour de France: Team Sky roster (and my opinion)

Riders: Chris Froome, Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Nieve, Bernhard Eisel, Vasil Kiryienka, David López, Danny Pate and Xabier Zandio.
   
Team Principal Dave Brailsford said:  "Team Sky returns to the Tour de France with the reigning champion and we are looking to win the yellow jersey for the third time in three years and a second consecutive time for Chris Froome. Defending champion Chris Froome is an exceptional talent, a brilliant stage racer, and he’ll lead the team. We know how hard it is to win this race and that it takes a totally focused and carefully constructed team, with the right blend of riders, to give us the best chance of victory. Each rider has been selected to play a specific role which will involve total sacrifice and commitment to the team’s ambition of reaching the Champs Élysées in yellow. In tackling the difficult challenge of selecting this team, we have stuck to a performance-first philosophy which has bought us considerable success, firstly at British Cycling and then with Team Sky, for more than a decade. Given the number of talented riders in Team Sky this approach has inevitably lead to some very tough decisions – however it’s crucial to remain totally focused on the desired outcome and we're racing to win. It has been a golden decade for cycling. Bradley Wiggins lies at the heart of a lot of that success, and although he has not been selected for this race he is still a key member of Team Sky and a great champion. The last time the Tour came to Britain it helped sow the seeds for what eventually became Team Sky. Everyone should be immensely proud of how far we've come and we can’t wait to ride in front of the UK fans. I believe that this will mark the moment when Britain truly becomes a cycling nation."
 
Chris Froome said:  "Everyone in the team is hugely excited about the Tour de France starting in the UK and racing in front of home fans as defending champion will be an incredible honour. We did a recce of the Yorkshire stages a few weeks ago and the excitement was already starting to build and the support that we have received has been fantastic. I’ll never forget the atmosphere on the roads during the London Olympics and to receive similar support at the Tour would be amazing. There’s no greater motivation for us than riding in front of our UK fans. We have a really strong team going into the race, full of experience and ability, and we’ve spent a lot of time together this year which is very important. We’re ready to get started and can’t wait to get to Yorkshire."

My opinion: Froome says nothing as usual but he isn't supposed to be a speacker. He's supposed to ride his bike and to win again the Tour. Can he do that? I think he can. But it's going to be harder this time. He has got a very strong team and - as his boss underlines - a devoted team. The point is: Froome seems less strong than the last year and his opponents seem stronger than in the past. So in my opinion it's on him.
PS
Unlike other teams Team Sky has 'just' one goal: to win the Tour. And just one leader, yep. But in case they have plenty of options.
PS
Ops! I said nothing of No-Wiggo. But I already wrote that in my opinion that's the obvious consequence of a different path since the start of the season (and maybe before). Wiggins has set (or got) different goals this year. And I think it has been a very good choice. He did well on the pavé Classics and is going to do well on the track with the British Team. Where is the problem? or must you find a problem anyway? 
PS
By the way talking about Team Sky: where is the problem again with Froome's TUE? they just followed the rules. Are rules wrong? ok, UCI changed them after the debate. But how can that be a Team Sky's fault? Or must you find a Team Sky's fault anyway?
I'm quite tired about that way to make 'journalism'. (I'm not a journo and I don't pretend to be).

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