Arguing With Myself About Team Sky

I was once told my view on Team Sky’s dominance – and jiffy bags – was balanced and refreshing. I don’t like Sky, but I try not to obsess on one collection of riders. I’d rather talk about key moments in races, winning moves or bold tactics. I’ve also been told my view on Team Sky is dull and inconclusive. I don’t make my mind up. I don’t love Chris Froome (he’s never been my preferred race winner) but nor do I condemn him.

If somebody asked me which team have won six tours in the last seven years I’d say Team Sky with no hesitation or caveat. Unfortunately, alarm bells have been ringing almost the entire time. Following Geraint Thomas’ victory at this year’s Tour – a race where Froome looked surprisingly human, but former E3 Harelbeke winner Thomas delivered a flawless climbing performance – it’s time to make my mind up on the issues which make the Sky regime quite so dubious.

Sky Car

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(Not) The People’s Champ!

Ahead of the Tour de France I have, like many, been thinking about the all-conquering, salbutamol abusing, not quite BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Chris Froome. Wounded by the early 2000s, I have mastered the dark art of burying my head in the sand when it comes to Froome. That’s not to say I’ve ignored the Team Sky sponsored alarm bells over the last five years, but given the choice between arguing about Froome’s cadence and admiring one of Alexis Gougeard’s doomed late attacks, I’m always choosing Alexis.

After recovering at the Giro to squash everybody with a freakish attack, Froome has well and truly rattled the Tour de France organizers. Can they handle another Tour winner with an asterisk? Can anybody stop him from winning? Can anybody stop him from riding? Does anybody want to see him ever again?!

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Five Things Chris Froome Could Do To Become More Popular

We need to talk about Chris Froome. In case you haven’t heard of him (why are you here?) he’s a four time Tour de France champion, Vuelta winner, imperious climber, first-rate time triallist, gracious runner-up, popular teammate, unpopular rival, furious leg spinner, wild elbow dancer, Team Sky poster-boy, chief motor doper, Armstrong Mark II. It’s likely you’ll only agree with a handful of those tags but it can’t be disputed that Froome is not as popular as one would expect. He comes across as a good guy, yet can’t escape the permanent cloud of suspicion that looms over Team Sky. Even ignoring the wild and not-so-wild doping cries, Froome hasn’t managed to endear himself to the cycling purists. But there’s still time! And here’s how…

Japan Criterium - Sumo Wrestling

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La Vuelta 2017: We’ve All Got Our Favourites

The perfect storm! Chris Froome completes historic Tour/Vuelta double – the first of its kind – on the same day that multiple Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador – the last of his kind – bows out in home race following fairytale stage win. Forget BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Chris Froome wasn’t even the highest trending pro cyclist on Twitter. Well, not at first anyway. By the time he sprinted to 11th to deny four-time stage winner Matteo Trentin the green jersey Contador was almost a distant memory.

Froome and Contador

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Quick Picks: Strade Bianche

I confess I was not as excited for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Belgium’s curtain-raising classics weekend as the rest of the cycling world. Perhaps I was foolishly distracted by Green Mountain and the Abu Dhabi Tour, intrigued to see if Rui Costa and company could upset the leading GC guys. I’ve had no such distractions on the run-up to Strade Bianche; one of my favourite races on the calendar. The unique Italian race has been promoted to the World Tour and a first rate field will tackle a mix of rolling hills and white gravel roads. Here’s my picks for the race.

gva-strade-bianche

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