Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Black And Blue - Team Sky

There is little going on in the way of news today and one team will be happier for that than most. If Team Sky look black and blue it might not just be down to the kit - the team have been through the mill in the last few weeks and it would be easy for a dedicated 'Team Sky News' website to keep churning out the stories as no longer are the cycling squad and their exploits confined to the small column inches at the back of the newspapers, no, they are too busy making headlines on news channels across Europe. So, whats going on at Team Sky?...

So last year Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, but Michelle Cound thought that maybe Froome should have won it but Cath Wiggins wasn't having that and thought Cound should shut up but in the end Cath shut up only for husband Brad to tell Froome Dog he wasn't top dog and now Cound opened her mouth again. Honestly, you can read all about it over at the BBC.

So hotly debated the rivalry between Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome has been that even the BBC news at ten reserved a slot to discuss Bradley's intent to ride the Tour and ride team-mate Froome off his wheel but while the mainstream media cash in on the tabloid-esq story many in cycling circles are left asking what is all the fuss about?

Clearly there has been some fuss, some of it out in the open - some of it confined to the twittersphere, some of it true and some of it exaggerated but really the story of two team leaders fighting it out to gain 'the' front man spot is nothing new, we saw it years ago with Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond (a cliched example but one most are familiar with) and we see it now with Cadel Evans and Teejay Van Garderen at BMC which has been far less reported and far less sensationalised but just like Froome and Wiggins the question and the rivalry exists - it's even been noted by the Secret Pro from inside the bunch. Of course, I myself have talked about the rivalry between Wiggins and Froome but as the cycling boom hits Britain so does the baggage it carries and now every non-story becomes a story.

Since the Giro started there has been little mention of Wiggins and Froome - instead today we were confronted with the 'Colombian Conspiracy' - the story that instead of helping team leader Wiggins on stage 3 of the Giro, team-mates and Colombians Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Uran rode away looking for stage victory, overall victory, an end of season transfer and world domination. Forget the fact that Wiggins found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, was a little off the pace because of the wet roads, got caught up behind a crash and lost a mild 17 seconds to the other favourites (baring in mind he already held a slight advantage from the TTT) and that in such a situation the best call that could have been made with a mere 3km left to race was to send Uran and Henao up the road to try and nullify any advantage anybody might gain from grabbing the bonus seconds on the finish line - oh no, forget all that, those Colombians like to stick together, they are up to something...

Heaven only knows what the Sky PR machine thought when posed with questions relating to such a ridiculous story - but they responded anyway and of course if they responded then it must be a story, there must be something in it? What's that, they came up with a completely valid reason which wipes this nonsensical story out of the water? Ignore that, we will run something else...

It's a sign of the times that people are lining up to sensationalise the sport of cycling, perhaps even a good sign - 18 months ago much of the media thought British cycling started and ended with Sir Chris Hoy and riding around in circles. Oh, actually they might have known about the Manx-Missile? Or did they just know about his obvious hatred of Bradley Wiggins, his Falling out with Bernie Eisel and his Feud with Sky Staff, Sky TV and the Sky?

So we have had Wiggins V Cavendish, Cavendish V Everyone, (Cath) Wiggins V Michelle Cound, (Brad) Wiggins V Froome, we've had Wiggins V the Colombians - what's next? Wiggins V Porte? Well, now that you mention it Richie Porte did sign an extension to his contract at Sky today and if Froome moves on next year and the 'Colombian Conspiracy' becomes reality then surely Wiggins will need somebody new to goad?

It's all getting a bit much and with all the questions being asked of everybody (but mainly Sky) I thought maybe it would be a good idea to start a 'Sky defence fund' over at Paypal. Oh.


  1. I don't think sending Henao and Uran to the front to grab the bonus seconds is a proper tactic. For them to get a podium place in finish sprints of relatively flat stages is quite slim.

  2. I really hope that Uran mounts a challenge to Wiggins in this Giro from within the Sky ranks like Wiggins said he would do to Froome in the forthcoming Tour. Kind of like Roche did to Visentini all those years ago. Come on Rigoberto!