Team Sky Considers Aiming for Yellow & Green Success in Tour de France
Two years after Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford's declared he wanted a British rider to win the Tour de France by 2014, the road racing team now have the manpower to target both the yellow and green jerseys in the three-week race.
Two years after Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford's declared he wanted a British rider to win the Tour de France by 2014, the road racing team now has the manpower to target both the yellow and green jerseys in the three-week race.
When the team launched in January 2010 with big-money backing and lofty ambitions, all the talk was of Brailsford's assertion and attention focused on team leader Bradley Wiggins who had finished fourth the previous year.
Team Sky were brought back down to earth in their first year when Wiggins could only manage 24th.
Further Tour disappointment followed in 2011 when he broke his collarbone in a seventh-stage crash but now with the addition of world champion Mark Cavendish, no one would discount the possibility of Team Sky being in the hunt for double glory.
"It has been done before and it doesn't take a genius to work it out, you go back and look at how it was done," Brailsford told reporters at a Team Sky media day in west London on Wednesday.
"Certainly that first year was quite a humbling year.
"I don't think we got the best out of the riders that we had but then... coming into last year we actually got a lot out of the riders that we had and performed significantly better."
Wiggins won the Criterium du Dauphine in June and got over his Tour de France disappointment with third place in September's Tour of Spain.
"Sitting here now looking into the third year... I've always said I'll stick by my guns and... that I couldn't see any reason why within five years of starting a pro-team we couldn't have a British rider win the Tour de France," said Brailsford.
"Obviously that first year it didn't quite work out and I think people thought we were a long way off the mark but going into this year I think people actually think it is possible."
The last team to achieve the feat were Team Telekom in 1997 when Jan Ullrich won the Tour and fellow German Erik Zabel took the sprinter's green jersey.
Cavendish, who won the green jersey this year with HTC-Highroad, was confident his new team mates were up to the task.
"It's definitely possible for me to win the green jersey and a British rider to win the yellow jersey in the same Tour de France at Team Sky," said the 26-year-old, who has 20 stage wins in the race.
Wiggins was more circumspect about whether the team would aim for both the overall and sprinter's classifications.
"The assumption is that we're going for both. I haven't really spoken to Cav(endish) about what his goals are for the Tour," said Wiggins, world time trial silver medalist.
"I know what my goals are for the Tour. It may become apparent in June that I'm not capable of doing that so they may go a completely different route. A this stage it's just way too early to start saying... what we're going to do."
Even if the pair do go