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Cycling Monologues No 14 – The Team Follower

“So anyway Sky is my favourite team and I’ll tell you for why they’re British for a start well almost I mean Sky TV is owned by an Australian Rupert Murdoch and 21st Century Fox is an American company but the Team Principal that’s Sir Dave Brailsford is British well Welsh anyway and they’ve got a lot of British riders, Stannard and Swift and Rowe and Kennaugh pronounced Kenyuk for some reason he’s from the Isle of Man and Froome well he’s sort of British even though he lives in Monaco and Henao he’s Colombian I think and Kwiatkowski oh he’s Polish and Mikel Landa they just signed actually he’s Spanish anyway they have this amazing team coach they call it the Death Star like in that Star Trek film although it’s just like all the other team coaches to be honest only it’s got Sky written on it, their clothing is made by Rapha well it won’t be after this year and they had Jaguar for their team cars which is Indian I saw an F Type following Wiggins with 2 bikes on the roof dead cool it was of course that’s stopped now they’ll be using Fords this year, that’s a bit of a comedown Fiesta for an F Type although they both start with F ha ha, they have this policy of marginal gains you’ve probably heard of that it means lots of small incremental changes adding up to a performance advantage like they carry their own bedding from hotel to hotel so the riders get a decent night’s sleep and they warm down on the turbo after a ride to stop their legs stiffening up of course every team does that now and they work with that psychologist Steve Peters to give the riders mental toughness he talks about their inner chimp God knows what that means, some people say their tactics can be a bit suspect sometimes like they’ll control the whole race from the front so when they get to the finish they’re all knackered and they lose the sprint and they still can’t win a Classic but they’ve won the Tour 3 times in the last 4 years that thing they tried putting Richie Porte in a motor home at the Giro was a disaster and made them look silly and some people say they’re boring to watch but I love them I’ve got loads of photos with the riders do I think they’ll win the Tour in 2016 no I don’t and they still haven’t won the Vuelta or the Giro even though they came close and it wasn’t really successful with Cav and Wiggo on the same team but everyone knew that wouldn’t work except them but it’s great to have a British team winning again maybe they’ll sign Sagan next year who knows I hope so I know he’s not British but who cares I wonder who their kit provider will be they shouldn’t have let Porte go I think he might win the Tour for BMC you’d think there’d be loads of cycling on Sky but there isn’t it’s weird I bought a Sky top from Rapha cost a fortune that’s a waste now maybe I can get my money back Stannard’s my favourite rider I thought the Yates boys would sign for Sky but they didn’t they went to Orica Green Edge I really like that team actually I think I prefer them Caleb Ewan is the sprinter to watch this year just you watch Sky are rubbish and Froome’s not really British is he, he won’t win again.”

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