|On the road!|
Rob and Ellie will give us a printed version of Brailsford's speech in the afternoon and a digital one is already waiting in my e-mail box so I had no need to write it down and simply listened:
“The first chapter of Team Sky was successful." Brailsford said "We set out to win the Tour de France, to do it clean and to do it with a British rider. We have done that twice. And we have helped inspire a million more people in the UK to take up cycling.
Our mission for 2020 is very simple - for Team Sky to be indisputably and consistently the best cycling team in the world, and to be viewed as one of the very best sports teams in the world.
We will do that by winning more races in the next five years than we did in the past five years. And do that consistently in Grand Tours as well as Classics and Monuments.
And the purpose of all this is very simple - to do everything we can to make more people fall in love with cycling so it can have a positive impact on their lives.
By 2020, I want Team Sky to be seen as a beacon of sporting excellence after a decade of sustained success. And how we have done it matters just as much as what we have done. But above all, why we have it done it matters most of all.”
While he's talking - and all day long - images of Team Sky victories were shown on a big screan. Rob and Ellie will send us also a recap of "Team Sky highlights of the last five years":
·Team Sky has had 165 wins in five years
· Team Sky has won the Tour de France with two different British riders
· Edvald Boasson Hagen has had the most wins for Team Sky with 24
· Sir Bradley Wiggins is close behind, with 23 wins in Team Sky colours
· Chris Froome currently has 21 wins for Team Sky
· In total, 59 riders have ridden for Team Sky (including 2015 new signings)
· 15 British riders have been members of Team Sky
· 7 founding rider members remain with the team: Froome, Kennaugh, Stannard, Sutton, Swift, Thomas, Wiggins (six of them British)
· In 2010, there were eight British riders - the same number for the 2015 season
· Team Sky have raced in 21 countries across the world, including 4 continents
· Helped inspire over 1 million more people to get on their bikes and ride more regularly
· Team Sky has the biggest following of fans in cycling
An impressive picture, and - let me say - an impressive marketing work. Team Sky efficiency is famous as well as its perfectionist attitude. Still I'm not impressed: I don't have to buy it.
Money are not a problem here: the whole Vanity Sports Hotel in Puert d'Alcudia is temporarily occupied only by Team Sky (and British Cycling), who also brought his team chef; two vans, a truck, several cars, a scooter and of course the team bus are parked outside; there are two press officers and a large number of staff members. Team Sky organogram is more complicated and peculiar compared to other teams' and seems quite integrated with British Cycling federation, that had an important role in his making.
The Spanish guys are impatient: the back windows of the van can't get open and it's hard to take decent pictures or to film that way. Opening the doors is too dangerous - still they do once. Not optimal. We follow the convoy of cars and vans following the small peloton, including also some amateurs who are taking part in Team Sky training. One of them isn't very fit... He has been immediately dropped and a rider slows down to bring him back in front.
|Siutsou sets his pc|
Then of course a rider must pay attention to his general feeling but it's crucial, for him and for his team, to find the reason(s) of it. More specific is your awarness and more exact can be your work. Materials are many and different of course: bike - and it's also a whole made by several elements - clothing... Everything need to be tested because they are going to spend hours in or on it and they must be perfect: confortable, efficient, durable.
Following in the van isn't easy to get an exact impression of where everyone stand. A second group is training in another area and of course the Tour de France team is already in Australia. For me the most obvious limit is that I don't really know these guys, I know them from races but Team Sky is new, unlike Andy's teams - Saxo Bank, Leopard or Trek - where I used to know everybody and it was easy to interpretate. But I'm curious. And they are so kind I feel at home already.
"Last shot? is that enough?" Rob says "What do you guys fancy now? some beer?", "Eating!" is the unanimous reply. "I'm starving" is often an overstatement but not in this case: I AM starving, I'm not eating anything since Saturday afternoon and not a real meat since home. Rob drives us back to the hotel - although taking wrong a roundabout and making a long detour till Alcudia. Team Sky Chef has prepared tons of tasty food and we are invited to share it. We still have a long day ahead.
MORE TO COME