Stickybottle

Video Shorts: Team Sky’s implosion spreads to racing performance

Posted on: March 11th, 2018

Team Sky

Geraint Thomas standing in the road waiting for neutral service to get him going again. Events in recent days damage their entire season.

 

Now Team Sky unravels under pressure in races

 

To say Team Sky is under extreme pressure would be a serious understatement. Recent controversies have thrown the future of the team into doubt.

A parliamentary committee in the UK has concluded Bradley Wiggins use corticosteroids to gain advantage, not treat illness. Wiggins vehemently denies the charge.

The same committee also suggested – though with no stated proof – that many Team Sky riders used such substances to lose weight in training.

Chris Froome has still not furnished any explanation for being twice the legal limit for asthma drug salbutamol at the Vuelta last year.

And he continues to race rather than doing the smart thing and stopping until the matter is resolved. The team, of course, is still reeling from Wiggins’ TUEs having been leaked in 2016.

But now the toxic environment around the team has spread into its racing, as the videos below  reveal.

Wout Poels was sitting 2nd overall in Paris-Nice on Friday morning. And with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) holding yellow the Team Sky man looking poised to take the race.

However, just hours after saying he would step into team leadership if Chris Froome was sidelined later in the year he could crash.

And while the team believed it was nothing serious at the time, a broken collarbone was diagnosed. That’s a serious blow to the team for the next few months at least.

Then yesterday, in Tirreno Adriatico, Froome struggled and went out the back of the select group on the uphill finish. His poor form is a real blow to Team Sky’s hopes for the year, though it is early in the campaign yet.

Immediately he fell back, race leader and team mate Geraint Thomas suffered a mechanical with just over 1km remaining.

The group he was in was bearing down on the leaders just seconds up the road. But Thomas took the longest time to get going again and lost 40 seconds. He has now slipped from leading to 5th overall.

And to make matters worse, former Team Sky rider Mikel Landa took the stage for Movistar.

Team Sky will be hopeful Thomas, around whom there has been no controversy, can possibly rescue the team’s awful few days by regaining the lead in Italy, especially with a TT on the final day next Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

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