Exactly. Nothing is stopping the billionaire from continuing the existing team under a different banner.
Comcast is my only option for high speed internet. Sigh.
But, yeah, ditto the, “This is a Comcast thing,” crowd. I remember seeing several articles on cycling news sites that suggested Comcast would bail on Team Sky as quickly as possible.
Brailsford was supposedly surprised, but I find that hard to believe. Or maybe he bought the official line and didn’t do his homework to know Comcast hates to spend money on anything that doesn’t put cable boxes in homes. Maybe if Team Sky did cable installs on their training rides… but they’d have to take a pay cut.
Hopefully someone with deep pockets steps up, though it might be in the team’s best interests if they ended up taking a budget cut out of the deal. Reducing the budget differential with the next-best-funded teams would weaken some of the complaints from a couple of directions. It might also let the UCI and ASO turn their attention to more important issues like power meters, sock doping, and the like.
I feel bad for Bernal. Brailsford must have known this was coming and was able to lock him in for cheap for 5 years.
All the politics and awfulness of Murdoch empire aside, good on Team Sky for all the achievements.
The last team to enjoy this kind of success was US Postal Service.
It takes a lot of passion and dedication from managers, coaches and athletes to achieve something like that.
Looking forward to 2020, which IMO is going to be the beginning of a new era.
I do get where people are coming from when they say Team Sky were perhaps too dominant (obviously thanks to their budget) but frankly they have been one of the very few teams who based their whole season around (initially at least) one race.
Quick Step got on loads more podiums through the season and have been pretty dominant, especially with Viviani and Gaviria both in the squad. They don’t come in for the same criticism though?
It’s a Rocky vs Drago type thing.
Multiple winners, over multiple types of races, using multiple tactical options, across the entire season. It’s not hard to see for me to be honest.
And the classics are just better.
The tactical variation is definitely an important point of difference but the criticism is almost always under the umbrella of ‘team dominance’
Sky stifle races using their dominance, QS make them using their dominance. 2 up the road on the attack v the postal sky train on a mountain stage…
Typical socialist mentality. Let’s kill all the rich people, rather than work hard to get rich as well.
Exactly. How dare you be better than anyone else. If you have more we must take from you. It’s the one world order mentality.
Personally I think it has always been like this in Tour De France, when i started watching we had Miguel Indurain, after that we had the Armstrong/Johan Bruneel and now Team Sky.
If you think about it though, there have been some outstanding rides by Sky, that haven’t just been the standard ride at a blistering pace up a mountain. I’m not a huge Froome fan, but look at his victory on stage 19 of this years Giro. Arguably the greatest stage victory in living memory. Also a stage in the 2017 tour where we had Froome, Sagan and two others in a break fighting it out for a sprint. They’ve had some strong riders in the classics (eg Stannard, G), but in an era where we’ve had the likes of Boonen, Cancellara, Sagan etc, they’ve been up against some real classics specialists.
They’ve made no bones about the fact they are GC focussed team, but I think it’s forced other teams to try and up their game. Michelton-Scott are knocking on their door with the Yates brothers, both who have youth on their side.
I will miss Sky if I’m honest. With the maginal gains, they have pushed the limits of the sport. It’s up for debate how ethical some of their practises have been, but I’ve always believed that they’ve stayed on the right side of the line when it comes to the rules. Unlike US Postal!!
Agree, that was awesome to watch.
Was it their “marginal gains” that enabled them to push the limits, or just the fact they had more spending power to buy a better team?
Even Wiggins slammed the whole marginal gains thing last year:
“At the end of the day, chimp theories and marginal gains and all these buzz words – a lot of the time, I just think you have got to get the fundamentals right: go ride your bike, put the work in, and you’re either good or you’re not good. Sometimes in life or in sport, whatever, you’re either good at something or you’re not. That’s what makes you a better athlete: your physical ability and whether you’ve trained enough – not whether you’ve slept on a certain pillow or mattress.”
I think the Hammer series are great for television, even for those that aren’t into cycling all that much.
I would love to see more of those on TV, but with the current schedule and the importance of classics and grand tours it’s going to be tough to get more of these on the calendar.
It is exactly same mentality of NFL, NBA, MLB! Salary cap and worst team draft first so all teams can remain competitive. Fan keep happy and spend hard earned dollar on merchandise and watch sport on TV! American sports great achievement of socialism! The opium of the masses!
Cue the The Internationale.
He slammed the marginal gains because it was disrespectful to all the hard work, training and grit the riders put in. Marginal gains were getting too much attention instead of the riders who earned the wins. It was kinda a slap to riders.
It wasn’t that marginal gains didn’t work, it was that they should be considered, well… marginal. However, the media had hyped them up to be more significant. Wiggins put marginal gains at 5% of the contribution (the sprinkles on top), but I think that its more accurate at 1%.
There was a brilliant series on Sky Atlantic in 2012 called “The Road to Glory” that followed Team Sky through the 2012 Season through Wiggins TdF victory. One of the things that it demonstrated so clearly was how hard the riders worked and what they had to put themselves through to be successful.
I agree that the marginal gains was way too much hyped up by the media and detracted from the work put in.
Absolutely. The marginal gains are the icing on the cake, but certainly not the driving force (as was often reported in the UK media).
I went to a talk with a triathlon coach (Simon Ward) last year… he made a good point that since the success of Team Sky, age-groupers spend more time worrying about marginal gains than getting the fundamentals right. If you aren’t training consistently and getting a decent amount of sleep, worrying about which protein drink to use or which aero shoe covers to buy is fruitless.
Awesome. I’ve never seen that, but looks like it’s available on YouTube (in 5 parts). I’ll give that a watch over Xmas
But you see… these things are easy, training is just so bloody hard…