Why are team SKY so good?

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  • Why are team SKY so good?
  • Premier Icon wwaswas
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    It’s ‘cos they’ve got the best riders 😉

    Premier Icon Kryton57
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    Huge budget, and therefore huge research / training / diet / exercise / sciencitific / rider capabilities on their payroll.

    Premier Icon binners
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    EPO? 😉

    If you want enlightening into how they turned British Cycling from bumbling amateurs to where they are now, then read this…

    Its a really good read. They pensioned off all the old school tie duffers that hamper every British (and a lot of international) sporting institutions, and started from scratch. It seems to have worked

    EDIT: The money is a recent thing. Not long after the commonwealth games, British Cycling was effectively bankrupt. And thats when the platform for this success is built. They threw out everything that went before and started bringing in stuff that cycling teams, certainly not British ones, had ever done before! Nutritionists, sports pychology etc and Chris Boardman started getting companies like Lotus involved on pushing the boundries technology wise and developing the bikes. Then they started scouting, spotting potential, developing talent from a young, with proper professional coaching. Wiggins and Chris Hoy were the first products of this philosophy, and the refreshing thing is, there’s loads more coming through behind them. Money-wise: successs attracts success. You only get sponsorship when you’re already delivering! Ask any premiership club outside the top 5

    Premier Icon feenster
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    Is it really just money? Is it just they have bought the best? Or do they have a philosophy/approach that is new/different.

    Is it like spain/barcelona – a deep far reaching philosphy of playing football that can be widely and sustainably implemented?

    Or is it manchester city – ie bought success? (Please go to another thread if you object to this analogy it’s just to make a point)

    Premier Icon aracer
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    EPO?

    Do cyclists have problems with PMS?

    crikey
    Member

    I think its a combination of things. They are a well funded, well organised, well structured and well managed team who have been astute in sourcing the right riders for the races they want to win. They are also fortunate to be racing at a time when the bio passport and drug testing generally is impacting on the sport, levelling the playing field so to speak.

    hilldodger
    Member

    Sky aren’t the team with the highest budget….

    aP
    Member

    Actually since their launch sky have performed pretty badly for all the talk, money and hype compared to other teams.
    It’s only in the last few months that they’ve managed to string a couple of wins together – in the Vuelta for example they threw away an almost certain win because they won’t change tactics. And remember that it was 3 years ago that an American team turned Bradley into a near podium rider, the next year sky rode him off their wheels and broke him in the Alps.

    Premier Icon feenster
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    Is it because they use proper sport science and performance data, rather than witch doctor style ideas that have traditionaly underpinned road cycling training methods?

    Premier Icon binners
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    Interesting article on Sky in the Guardian today here

    Brailsford’s philosophy was to take the approach that had worked dividends for the British track cycling team, and had led to their domination at the Beijing Olympic Games. The idea was to bring the “aggregation of marginal gains” to road racing, looking at every area of performance to win races.

    Premier Icon wallop
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    It’s their chef. Have you seen what he cooks for them? Awesome.

    @teamskychef

    MrSalmon
    Member

    hilldodger’s graphic is interesting, a few underachievers in there (Rabobank, I’m looking at you…) and interesting to see Garmin so low.

    radoggair
    Member

    ^^^^ that was last years budgets/teams. Note the now non existnece of HTC and the combination of nissan/trek/radioshak.

    This years budgets will be (alot) different

    Zulu-Eleven
    Member

    its the first half of the tour and they’ve barely touched the mountains

    only an idiot wants to be defending yellow in the first half of the tour, with the first trip into the big mountain stages still to come.

    atlaz
    Member

    I wonder about that graphic. Given some of the rumoured salaries (2-3M for top riders), you have to question if it can be true. Does it include the freebies from car makers etc, does it include bikes and parts, and so on or is it just the sponsorship and prize money added up?

    tomhughes
    Member

    Feenster you were spot on with your original point.
    I was chatting with a sports physiologist who had been working with sky/british cycling recently. We were chatting about this and he said their attention to detail was just incredible.
    He also said that there was never a plan for them to dominate from the word go, the plan was for 5 years.
    Each rider has an incredibly specific training regime that is dictated by every possible measure of physiology/biomechanics you can think of.

    Other teams are starting to cotton on to it with the employment/use of aerodynamics experts, but they still haven’t got the individual physiological requirements of the riders down.

    rusty90
    Member

    only an idiot wants to be defending yellow in the first half of the tour

    Merckx 1969, 1970, 1971
    Hinault 1979, 1980
    Indurain 1993, 1994, 1995
    Armstrong 1999, 2003, 2005
    Idiots all 🙂

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    Have you seen the way they run it? Have you seen the list of rules they had to adhere to? It’s a bit like how British Cycling run the Olympic Development Programme at the start of the year, a boot camp. That’s why Adam Blythe left the ODP as he couldnt’ hack it being boot camp stylee. Then as you beomce more ingrained in Sky they leave you alone a bit. Cav is famous for HATING doing indoor tests and number crunching, Rod Ellingworth realised this so they leave him to it. A lot of the Sky riders do their own training plan, it’s not written down what they will do when, they are all pro’s who know where their strengths and weaknesses lie and a lot of it they are left to their own devices. I think attitude combined with the scientific ways that some use their data is great.

    Otherwise commitment and dedication from the riders themselves coupled with the money and support, staff assistance they have is unbelieveable.

    atlaz
    Member

    only an idiot wants to be defending yellow in the first half of the tour

    Not sure what the difference between chasing yellow or defending it is really as surely the only stage that counts is the final timed GC stage. Some say it would be better to be chasing as you don’t have the pressure of defending but others say having the yellow would be better as you don’t have to make time, just keep it. Seems like a matter of preference to me not an absolute.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
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    What Munqe-Chick said. It’s safe to say that if English football had done what Sky/British Cycling have with both the GB track/road squads and Team Sky (OK, I know there’s a fair bit of cross-over within them) then England would have won the World Cup by now.

    Attitude/work ethic, attention to detail, discipline and the small matter of having shed loads of money which always helps.

    Sky didn’t really do themselves any favours when they launched in a blaze of glory a few years ago with promises of this and that and showcasing their shiny new bus and flash team cars and then not really getting the results to back it up. But it’s gelled now – I think more than Wiggins getting into yellow, their domination of the first mountain stage spoke volumes. True Armstrong style. Build a team around one sole purpose, sit there for the first week then demolish everybody in the mountains.

    wrecker
    Member

    It’s cox they’ve got the bestest t shirts innit?

    damo2576
    Member

    Free Sky+HD and movie channels is massive incentive to ride fast.

    TiRed
    Member

    Because (soon to be Sir, surely#) Dave Brailsford is ruthless. Both for Sky and British Cycling.

    #I think it’s a travesty that he wasn’t knighted with Chris Hoy, personally.

    Premier Icon speaker2animals
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    It’s funny that when Brad started the warm down on the “rollers” at the end of races early in the year the media were moaning about him and his media personna (justified to a degree but the rollers thing was just something for them to point at) and other teams and riders were poo pooing it as image/hype/mind games. How many others have we seen doing it this Tour?

    Not all of the “marginal gains” approach has paid off. Look at the prologue in 2010. Trying to be very clever Sky got on to some nautical weather service for a super accurate forecast and got Brads start time changed to suit what they thought would be best weather conditions. It pee’d down. My concern was always taking too much from the track. Road Races/Time Trials are VERY different beasts. Obviously in a 4000m pursuit the margin for error is tiny (time wise thinking here) BUT control of the environment is so much different.

    Why are Sky so good now?

    They have learned their lessons from the past 2 seasons.

    They do accrue marginal gains but I think they appreciate that these only pay off when events outside their control fall their way.

    They don’t just have the best riders, they have probably a selection of the very best team (and I do mean the WHOLE team) i the cycling world at present.

    They have the benefit of being an evolution/off shoot of a vastly improved British Cycling.

    They have money, but unlike the footy analogy I don’t think they have more than anyone else, they may be up with the big boys but the way they have spent their money is probably better.

    Their aim was to place a British Rider on the top step in Paris in 5 years. ALL the money in the world could not buy that person, he didn’t exist. Unlike Footy where those with the money just buy the best Sky stated aim was not acheivable that way. In a lot fo way sthey have had to invent that person, who at the moment seems to be Brad, and allowing for a little trans-nationality issue they seem to have backed up with Chris Froome.

    I think it was commendable what Garmin achieved with Brad and that was certainly for me the first step on the road riding/grand tour riding ladder. I still believe though that a massive amount of the 4th place was that BW had no pressure to perform at that level which gave him mental freedom, and also no one rated him to do anything and he was dismissed to a degree by the other GC riders.

    Year 1 at Sky showed they they and he were nowhere near ready to win the Tour, BW was not a leader as I’m sure he would agree.

    Year 2 – we’ll never know, form wise from what I saw probably 95% or better of where he is today. Could the team have supported him? Not as well as they can this year.

    Year 3 – You could not really be sitting any better. No sorry you could. You could still have Sitzou in the team and as I have said since his signing, you should not have Cav with you. I’m sorry and admittedly we don’t get to see every hour of every stage but has he done any work for the team role? Sadly Gerraint has pinned his cards to the Olymic track this year but for me he would have been of much more use than Cav. OR another climber (though not familiar withthe team enough to know who else they have).

    mogrim
    Member

    You could still have Sitzou in the team and as I have said since his signing, you should not have Cav with you. I’m sorry and admittedly we don’t get to see every hour of every stage but has he done any work for the team role?

    Looking at it from the other side: what have the team done for Cav? I really think he screwed up moving to Sky!

    Premier Icon turboferret
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    What I discovered from Eurosport the other day was that the teams (at least the big ones) are paid by the manufacturers to ride their bikes.

    I always assumed that it was the other way round, but knowing that, the £11M or whatever Sky have to play with goes a lot further when you know that the several dozen Pinarellos they have didn’t cost them a penny!

    Cheers, Rich

    damo2576
    Member

    What I discovered from Eurosport the other day was that the teams (at least the big ones) are paid by the manufacturers to ride their bikes.

    Never heard of sponsorship?!

    AdeC
    Member

    By sheer luck I’ve just had lunch with 4 of the GB under 23 team (the cafe was full, so they sat at the table I was at). Have to say British cycling looks to be in good hands. Thoroughly nice chaps. They were drinking diet lemonade.

    They had some great stuff to say about Wiggo. The whole team is fully behind him and his rather fruity comments direct towards Associated Press.

    b r
    Member

    I always assumed that it was the other way round, but knowing that, the £11M or whatever Sky have to play with goes a lot further when you know that the several dozen Pinarellos they have didn’t cost them a penny!

    Eh? Ignoring your lack of knowledge do you really think that buying bikes would have any real impact on a +£10m budget? I’m sure their coach costs more in diesel…

    Premier Icon turboferret
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    What I discovered from Eurosport the other day was that the teams (at least the big ones) are paid by the manufacturers to ride their bikes.

    Never heard of sponsorship?![/quote]

    Clearly, yes, SKY are obviously sponsored by SKY, but you don’t see Pinarello all over their kit, and I didn’t expect them to chuck £2m at the team along with dozens of bikes!

    Cheers, Rich

    HTTP404
    Member

    Cav had an awful Milan San Remo which can only be put down to him.
    He’s been a little unlucky in the sprints this year@Le Tour too. And some of this can attributed to his 4kg weight loss as he targets the Olympics.
    He’s also won his first ever GC this year.
    So not sure where the lack of support bit cones from.
    Yes. He doesn’t have the run-in as he did when he was with HTC but everybody knows this year is about the yellow jersey (not green). And having said all that both Cav and Eisel have been pairing well with all things considered.

    glupton1976
    Member

    Cav was taking huge turns on the front early on in the stage before the time trial. He is doing plenty there for the team.

    mogrim
    Member

    So not sure where the lack of support bit cones from.
    Yes. He doesn’t have the run-in as he did when he was with HTC but everybody knows this year is about the yellow jersey (not green). And having said all that both Cav and Eisel have been pairing well with all things considered.

    That’s basically what I meant, and if he’d had better support I don’t think he would have been caught up in all those crashes… As you yourself say, this year is about the yellow jersey – and not the green.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    has he done any work for the team role

    Definition of a team; a group of individuals united to achieve a common goal

    Premier Icon binners
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    Cav seems to know the score. Lets be honest, if he was unhappy he’s hardly the type to be smiling for the camera’s and keeping it to himself, is he?

    I presume ithis is because there’s no doubt whatsoever that when it comes to the Olympics, then its payback time. With the whole set-up working to one goal: to get Cav his Olympic Gold. Brad owes him for last time on the Olympics front.

    Next year could be very different.One thing that Dave Brailsford isn’t, is sentimental. Just because Brads no 1 priority this year, doesn’t mean it’ll be the case in 12 months

    atlaz
    Member

    jesus, I thought he’d lost weight?? 😀

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    I originally thought Cav had made a bad decision, although now I’m not so sure. It has been clear since BEFORE the tour started that this years TdF is about Wiggo and nothing but, Cav has said he isn’t going for the green jersey (but if he won it, it would be a bonus) it’s all about Wiggo, he’s admitted he’s supporting Wiggo too.

    the 4kg weight loss it clearly so he can stay with the pack at Box Hill, as Bernie isn’t going to be there helping him 😉 but he has lost his top end high speed.

    Hey I think Sky are a phenomenal outfit, yes in 2009 they didnt’ help themselves but they’ve all admitted that, even Brailsford has said how much of a massive jump Wiggo has made as in 2009 he had no idea how to be a team leader, the responsibilties, how he should be acting etc. It’s also always been well known that Wiggo hates the press and doesn’t have time for them, unfortunately he realises now that he needs to/has to speak to them when he’s doing well. He’s slowly getting better yet he still speaks his mind, which I think is good. Why pussy foot around them just because they are journalists?

    Bring on that British winner of the TdF 2012! Surely he’d have to win Sports Personality then…..

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    If they pull it off, and Cav wins Gold, and we win a load on the track as well (and Shanaze wins gold as well, let’s go the whole hog!!) then they could sweep the board at sports personality. Coach, team*, and individual!

    (* might have to organise a vote rig for team, I assume Chelski will be favourites for their CL win)

    Premier Icon brassneck
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    Not all of the “marginal gains” approach has paid off. Look at the prologue in 2010. Trying to be very clever Sky got on to some nautical weather service for a super accurate forecast and got Brads start time changed to suit what they thought would be best weather conditions. It pee’d down

    That’s just bad luck though – they made decision based on the best data they could get, and it didn’t pay off. Happens in all sports (F1 is a good example).

    If they pull it off, and Cav wins Gold, and we win a load on the track as well (and Shanaze wins gold as well, let’s go the whole hog!!) then they could sweep the board at sports personality. Coach, team*, and individual!

    Possibly, but if it’s Cav Vs Wiggo Vs A.N.Other.Cyclist, and Murray getting the housewives vote for his blubbering, and some footballers (maybe not given the Euros) and there’s always someone unherd of that does well at the olympics (usualy a swimmer), and there’s the golf this year.

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