Team Sky

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Team Sky
Team Sky.svg
Team information
UCI code SKY
Based National Cycling Centre
Manchester
England
Founded 2009 (2009) as Sky ProCycling
Discipline Road
Status UCI ProTeam
Bicycles Pinarello
Website Team home page
Key personnel
General manager Dave Brailsford
Team name history
2010
2011–2013
2014
Sky Professional Cycling
Sky Procycling
Team Sky
Team Sky jersey
Jersey
Current season

Team Sky (UCI team code: SKY) is a British professional cycling team that competes in the UCI World Tour. The team is based at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, England, with a logistics base in Belgium and an operational base in Quarrata, Italy.[1] The team is managed by British Cycling's former performance director Dave Brailsford.

Team Sky's aim was "To win the Tour de France within five years" after cutting back their initial expectations from 2010's aim to "create the first British winner of the Tour de France within five years".[2] Sky achieved their initial 2010 goal in 2012 when Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France, becoming the first British winner in its history, while fellow Briton Chris Froome finished as the runner up.[3] Froome later went onto win the 2013 Tour de France, thereby achieving Team Sky's aim twice over, within the original time period.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The creation of the team was announced on 26 February 2009, with the major sponsorship provided by BSkyB. The company were searching for a sport in which they could have a positive and wide-ranging impact through sponsorship. British Cycling first began their relationship with BSkyB in 2008 with a £1 million sponsorship in the Sky Track Cycling team following the Summer Olympics in which British cyclists excelled. After a trip to the Manchester Velodrome, home of the National Cycling Centre, in 2008, BSkyB chairman James Murdoch quickly became keen on the sport.[4] BSkyB were lobbied by British Cycling and key figures such as David Brailsford to launch a British road cycling team which would compete in road cycling's major events as well as the three Grand Tours in Italy, France and Spain. BSkyB agreed to finance the team with the aim of a British rider winning the Tour de France within five years.[5]

Team Sky's original intention was to build a 25-man squad with a core of British riders[6] and to nurture the young talent.[7] The first six riders confirmed were Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Russell Downing, Ian Stannard and Peter Kennaugh, all British riders.[8] The ambition to "ensure competitiveness" through other signings, including a number of foreign riders, was expressed.[1] On 10 September 2009, a further ten riders were confirmed as set to ride for the team. These were Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thomas Löfkvist, Kurt Asle Arvesen, Simon Gerrans, Juan Antonio Flecha, Kjell Carlström, John-Lee Augustyn, Greg Henderson, Lars Petter Nordhaug, and Morris Possoni.[9] Further additions to the squad, including Chris Sutton and Bradley Wiggins from Garmin-Slipstream, Michael Barry, and Ben Swift from Team Katusha were made before the beginning of the 2010 season.[10][11][12]

2010[edit]

Main article: 2010 Team Sky season
Sky at their first race, the 2010 Cancer Council Helpline Classic in Adelaide, Australia.

The team gained a victory in its first race in January 2010, the Cancer Council Helpline Classic in Adelaide, Australia, a one-day race prior to the Tour Down Under, with Greg Henderson and Chris Sutton taking first and second respectively.[13] Team Sky’s first ProTour event was the Tour Down Under in January.[3] The team was awarded a wild-card entry for the Tour de France.[14][15] Team Sky was also invited to compete in all three of the years Grand Tours. In February 2010 the team got its first one day victory when Juan Antonio Flecha won the Belgian semi-classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with a solo break.[16][17][18]

On 9 May Bradley Wiggins became the first Sky rider to wear the leaders jersey of a Grand Tour when he won the opening prologue of the Giro d'Italia. That same month Ben Swift became the first rider to win an overall classification winning the Tour de Picardie. In the Team's first Tour de France, Geraint Thomas finished second on the cobblestones of stage three, and wore the white jersey as leader of the young rider classification.[19] The Tour was a disappointment for Sky though, with Thomas Löfkvist in 17th overall being their highest placed rider (Wiggins finished in 24th place). Löfkvist led Team Sky at the Vuelta a España, but the team withdrew after stage seven following the death of soigneur Txema González.[20] In total Team Sky recorded 22 wins in their debut season, with a further 50 podiums.[21]

2011[edit]

Main article: 2011 Team Sky season
Team Sky celebrate winning the team classification at the 2011 Danmark Rundt

Team Sky again began the season in Australia, with Ben Swift winning two stages of the Tour Down Under, and finishing third overall.[22] Juan Antonio Flecha and Jeremy Hunt finished fourth and sixth respectively in the Tour of Qatar in February, while Edvald Boasson Hagen finished first in the points classification and second overall in the Tour of Oman later that month.[23] In the Classics season, Bradley Wiggins finished third overall in Paris–Nice[24] and Geraint Thomas finished second overall at the Dwars door Vlaanderen.[25] The team enjoyed a successful Tour of California, with Ben Swift winning stage two[26] and Greg Henderson taking victory in stage three.[27] At the Giro d'Italia, Thomas Lofkvist was the highest placed Sky rider, finishing 21st overall. The closest the team came to a stage victory was Davide Appollonio's second place on stage 12.[28] Geraint Thomas secured Sky's first overall victory of the season, by winning the five-day Bayern-Rundfahrt race at the end of May.[29] Edvald Boasson Hagen and Bradley Wiggins also won stages in the event, with Boasson Hagen claiming the points jersey. In June, Wiggins won the Critérium du Dauphiné, Sky's biggest victory to date.[30]

Team Sky's Chris Froome (left) at the 2011 Vuelta a España, where he finished second overall. At the time this was Sky's highest in a Grand Tour.

At the Tour de France Sky finished third on stage two, the team time-trial. Edvald Boasson Hagen secured the team's first ever Tour stage win on stage six. On stage seven, just over 40 km (24.9 mi) from the finish, a crash brought down team leader Bradley Wiggins breaking his collarbone and ending his tour.[31] This prompted a change of approach from Sky, with their riders targeting stage wins. On stage nine, Juan Antonio Flecha was hit by a French media car, which resulted in Flecha colliding with Vacansoleil-DCM rider Johnny Hoogerland, who crashed into a barbed-wire fence.[32][33] Both riders were able to continue despite sustaining injuries in the incident. Geraint Thomas won the combativity award on stage 12.[34] Boasson-Hagen came second to compatriot Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) on stage 16, before winning the next stage with a solo breakaway. He also finished second on the stage 21 on the Champs-Élysées. Rigoberto Urán was the highest placed Sky rider with 24th overall, whilst Boasson Hagen's efforts gave the team two stage wins in an eventful Tour.

After the Tour de France, Boaason-Hagen's good form continued, as he won the Vattenfall Cyclassics and took a clean sweep of jerseys at the Eneco Tour. In the third and final Grand Tour of the 2011 season, the Vuelta a España, Sky riders Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins finished second and third respectively in the general classification.[35] Chris Sutton won stage two, while Froome won stage 17 of the event.[36] On 11 October, it was announced that world champion Mark Cavendish would be joining the team for the 2012 season, bringing an end to months of speculation.[37] He was joined by his HTC-Highroad teammate Bernhard Eisel.[38]

2012[edit]

Main article: 2012 Team Sky season
Bradley Wiggins crosses the finish line on the Champs-Élysées with Michael Rogers to win the 2012 Tour de France

In January, Team Sky confirmed their squad for the 2012 season which included eight new signings, Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Sergio Henao, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe and Kanstantsin Sivtsov.[39]

At the Tour Down Under in January, Edvald Boasson Hagen won the sprint classification.[40] In February Sky claimed the team classification at the Volta ao Algarve, with Richie Porte winning the overall and Edvald Boasson Hagen the points classification.[41] Bradley Wiggins won the overall classifications in the Paris–Nice in March[42] and the Tour de Romandie in April.[43]

Sky dominated the Tour de France general classification with Bradley Wiggins first and Chris Froome second overall,[44] and Mark Cavendish winning three stages including the sprint on the final stage on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.[45] On 9 September, the team achieved their 100th victory with Lars Petter Nordhaug's win in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. The team also topped the UCI World Tour teams classification, with a total score of 1767 points.[46]

In preparation for the 2013 season, the signings of Vasil Kiryienka and David López García from Movistar Team and 2012 Italian national time trial champion, Dario Cataldo from Omega Pharma-Quick Step were secured. The team have also signed Gabriel Rasch and on 1 October it was revealed that the team had also signed Joe Dombrowski and Ian Boswell, from the Bontrager-Livestrong team, as neo-pros.[47] The 2012 Tour of Britain winner, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke had signed a two-year deal with the team.[48] Riders leaving the team at the end of the 2012 season are, Mark Cavendish who will move to Omega Pharma-Quick Step,[49] Lars Petter Nordhaug to Blanco Pro Cycling,[50] Davide Appollonio to Ag2r-La Mondiale[51] and Juan Antonio Flecha to Vacansoleil-DCM,[52] Alex Dowsett to Movistar Team[53] and Michael Rogers to Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.[54] Michael Barry[55] and Jeremy Hunt[56] will both retire.

Doctor Geert Leinders, who had been employed by the Team since 2011, was subject of an internal investigation after allegations of involvement in doping at Blanco Pro Cycling earlier in his career, and on 9 October it was announced he would no longer work for the team.[57] The impact of the USADA reasoned decision on doping by Lance Armstrong and team mates at the US Postal team led Sky to re-inforce its zero tolerance anti-doping policy, with all riders and staff being subjected to internal interviews. Two members of the coaching staff, Bobby Julich and Steven de Jongh were released from their contracts under the policy.[58] Head Director Sportif Sean Yates also left the squad in October citing personal reasons,[59] although the Telegraph linked his departure to past involvement in doping.[60]

2013[edit]

Main article: 2013 Team Sky season

The 2013 season began with the Tour Down Under, where Geraint Thomas won stage two.[61] In February Chris Froome won the overall classification, points classification and a stage in the Tour of Oman.[62] In March Richie Porte won the Paris-Nice, including two of the last three stages in the race, the queen stage and the concluding time trial.[63] The team then picked up a 1–2 at the Critérium International with Froome securing victory with a win on the final stage and Porte finishing runner up with a victory in the stage 2 time trial, also securing the points competition.[64] In April, Froome followed up with overall wins at the Tour de Romandie [65] and Critérium du Dauphiné in June.[66] Edvald Boasson Hagen retained his 2012 Tour of Norway winning the points classification and stage 4 of the race in the process.[67]

In July Froome went on to win the 100th and 2013 edition of the Tour de France; claiming dominant stage victories on the stage 8 final climb of Ax 3 Domaines, stage 15 to the summit of Mont Ventoux and the stage 17 individual time trial. Froome was narrowly beaten to the King of the Mountains prize by Movistar Teams Colombian climber and runner up - Nairo Quintana.

The team then recorded their first ever victory in their home stage race, with Bradley Wiggins claiming the overall title in the 2013 Tour of Britain winning the stage 3 individual time trial in Knowsley Safari park.

2014[edit]

Main article: 2014 Team Sky season

On 4 June 2013 it was announced that Australian Nathan Earle of the Continental team, Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers, had been signed by the team for the 2014 season.[68] On 1 August 2013, the first day of the cycling transfer window, it was confirmed that Rigoberto Uran would move to Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the 2014 season.[69] On 22 August it was announced that Mathew Hayman would leave the team at the completion of the season and join Orica-GreenEDGE on a 2-year deal.[70] On 6 September it was announced that the Irishman Philip Deignan of UnitedHealthcare would be joining the team after a strong 2013 season.[71] After heavy speculation at the UCI Road World Championships it was announced on 1 October that Spanish climber, Mikel Nieve, would join the team on a two-year contract, following the closure of his current team (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at the end of the season.[72] On 23 December Sebastián Henao (cousin of Team Sky rider Sergio Henao) was announced as the team's final signing for the 2014 season.[73]

Sponsorship[edit]

The team support car at the 2012 Tour de France, with a change of livery due to rider Bradley Wiggins wearing the yellow jersey.

According to the results of a study commissioned by Cyclingnews.com and performed by Repucom, the team gave more media value to their sponsors and partners than any other cycling team. The team delivered approximately $550m in advertising value, the highest amount achieved by any professional team.[74]

BSkyB provided £30 million in sponsorship for the team and will back the team as name sponsor until the end of 2013.[1] The team also receives further sponsorship from 21st Century Fox (previously News Corporation) and Sky Italia. Pinarello supplies bicycle frames and forks.[75][76][77] On 5 January 2010, Adidas were announced as the teams official apparel and accessories partner.[78] Gatorade, Marks & Spencer, Oakley, IG Markets are additional sponsors and Jaguar are providers of the team cars.

In the 2011 Tour de France the team jerseys were changed to black and green, to help raise awareness and support for Sky Rainforest Rescue, a three-year partnership between Sky and WWF to help save a billion trees in the state of Acre, Brazil.[79]

Since 2013, the clothing manufacturer Rapha has supplied the team with their kit.[80]

On 25 June 2013, the team announced that the logo of 21st Century Fox (the direct successor to News Corporation following the spin-off of its publishing business), will appear on the team's kit and team vehicles.[74]

On 27 August 2013 the team announced that they had a signed a new three-year deal with Pinarello to supply bikes to the team until the end of the 2016 season.[81]

Media[edit]

A five part documentary series following the team's 2012 season, Team Sky and British Cycling: The Road to Glory, premiered on Sky Atlantic on 30 August 2012.[82] Another documentary Bradley Wiggins: A Year in Yellow, following Wiggins' exploits in the 2012 season was first shown on the same channel in November 2012.[83] The team have also produced two books chronicling the 2012 Tour de France and 2013 season- 21 Days to Glory[84] and The Pain and the Glory.

Doping[edit]

The team has a zero-tolerance approach to doping[citation needed] .[85] All team members (including staff) must sign an agreement that they have no past or present involvement in taking illegal substances. Anyone breaching the agreement at any time must leave the squad.[86] Previous team members such as team doctor Geert Leinders,[87] sports director Steven de Jongh and coach Bobby Julich[88] have all left the team when their involvement in doping prior to working with Sky became known.

This approach has been criticised by David Howman of WADA, who has argued that fear of losing their job will discourage people with a history of doping from confessing.[89]

Although there have been speculations that Team Sky's tactics and success imply use of banned substances, Brailsford has strenuously denied any team use of illegal substances, citing his team's success in the Olympics as proof that you don't need to dope to dominate.[90]

In September 2013, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was asked by the UCI to explain a potential discrepancy in his biological passport data.[91] In December 2013, British Cycling confirmed it had been instructed to begin disciplinary proceedings against Tiernan-Locke by the UCI.[92] Sky have claimed the blood values in question were taken in 2012, when Tiernan-Locke was a member of the Endura Racing squad, and he is provisionally suspended from all team activities pending a decision.[92] In July 2014 Tiernan-Locke was banned from competition until 31 December 2015 by the UCI, as a result of this his contract with the team was terminated with immediate effect. [93][94]

In March 2014, Sergio Henao was removed from race schedules for at least eight weeks pending the conclusion of an "altitude research programme", following tests that were taken over the winter whilst Henao was training at altitude in Colombia.[95] In June 2014, Henao returned to racing at the Tour de Suisse, after completing an independent research programme investigating the physiology of "altitude natives" in conjunction with the University of Sheffield.[96]

Team roster[edit]

As of 14 April 2014.[97] view · edit · talk
Rider Date of birth
 Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) (1987-05-17)17 May 1987 (aged 26)
 Ian Boswell (USA) (1991-02-07)7 February 1991 (aged 22)
 Dario Cataldo (ITA) (1985-03-17)17 March 1985 (aged 28)
 Philip Deignan (IRL) (1983-09-07)7 September 1983 (aged 30)
 Joe Dombrowski (USA) (1991-05-12)12 May 1991 (aged 22)
 Nathan Earle (AUS) (1988-06-04)4 June 1988 (aged 25)
 Josh Edmondson (GBR) (1992-07-06)6 July 1992 (aged 21)
 Bernhard Eisel (AUT) (1981-02-17)17 February 1981 (aged 32)
 Chris Froome (GBR) (1985-05-20)20 May 1985 (aged 28)
 Sebastián Henao (COL) (1993-08-05)5 August 1993 (aged 20)
 Sergio Henao (COL) (1987-12-10)10 December 1987 (aged 26)
 Peter Kennaugh (GBR) (1989-06-15)15 June 1989 (aged 24)
 Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) (1981-06-28)28 June 1981 (aged 32)
 Christian Knees (GER) (1981-03-05)5 March 1981 (aged 32)
 David López (ESP) (1981-05-13)13 May 1981 (aged 32)
Rider Date of birth
 Mikel Nieve (ESP) (1984-05-26)26 May 1984 (aged 29)
 Danny Pate (USA) (1979-03-23)23 March 1979 (aged 34)
 Richie Porte (AUS) (1985-01-30)30 January 1985 (aged 28)
 Salvatore Puccio (ITA) (1989-08-31)31 August 1989 (aged 24)
 Gabriel Rasch[N 1] (NOR) (1976-04-08)8 April 1976 (aged 37)
 Luke Rowe (GBR) (1990-03-10)10 March 1990 (aged 23)
 Kanstantsin Sivtsov (BLR) (1982-08-09)9 August 1982 (aged 31)
 Ian Stannard (GBR) (1987-05-25)25 May 1987 (aged 26)
 Chris Sutton (AUS) (1984-09-10)10 September 1984 (aged 29)
 Ben Swift (GBR) (1987-11-05)5 November 1987 (aged 26)
 Geraint Thomas (GBR) (1986-05-25)25 May 1986 (aged 27)
 Bradley Wiggins (GBR) (1980-04-28)28 April 1980 (aged 33)
 Xabier Zandio (ESP) (1977-03-17)17 March 1977 (aged 36)
  1. ^ Rasch retired from the sport on 13 April, after completing Paris–Roubaix.[98]

Team management[edit]

As of 14 April 2014.[99]
Position Name
General manager Dave Brailsford
Head of Performance Support Tim Kerrison
Team psychiatrist Steve Peters
Performance manager Rod Ellingworth
Performance advisor Shane Sutton
Operations manager Carsten Jeppesen
Head of Business Operations Fran Millar
Directeur sportif Servais Knaven
Directeur sportif Nicolas Portal
Directeur sportif Dan Frost
Directeur sportif Dario Cioni
Directeur sportif Gabriel Rasch
Race coach Kurt Asle Arvesen
Race coach Shaun Stephens
Team Doctor Alan Farrell
Team Doctor Richard Freeman
Team Doctor Phil Riley
Team Doctor Richard Usher

National Champions[edit]

2010
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG British Road Race — Geraint Thomas
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG British Time Trial — Bradley Wiggins
MaillotNoruega.PNG Norway Time Trial — Edvald Boasson Hagen
2011
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG British Road Race — Bradley Wiggins
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG British Time Trial — Alex Dowsett
MaillotFin.PNG Finland Road Race — Kjell Carlström
MaillotNoruega.PNG Norway Time Trial — Edvald Boasson Hagen
2012
MaillotNoruega.PNG Norway Road Race — Edvald Boasson Hagen
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG British Road Race — Ian Stannard
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG British Time Trial — Alex Dowsett
2013
MaillotNoruega.PNG Norway Time Trial — Edvald Boasson Hagen
MaillotBielorrusia.PNG Belarus Time Trial — Kanstantsin Sivtsov
2014
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG British Road Race — Peter Kennaugh
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG British Time Trial — Bradley Wiggins
MaillotBielorrusia.PNG Belarus Time Trial — Kanstantsin Sivtsov

Major results[edit]

Main article: List of Team Sky wins

References[edit]

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  74. ^ a b "New sponsor for Team Sky". Team Sky (BSkyB). 25 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  75. ^ Richard Tyler (9 Oct 2009). "Pinarello named as Team Sky bike sponsor". Cyclingnews.com. 
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]