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Sky Grand Tour plans 2019

pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,033
edited January 2019 in Pro race
Froome and Thomas for the TdF and Egan Bernal gets to lead at the Giro. Press release:

"Team Sky can confirm that Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will focus their 2019 seasons around the Tour de France, with Egan Bernal set to lead his first Grand Tour at the Giro d’Italia.
Froome, who is targeting a record-equalling fifth Tour title, and defending champion Thomas will take to the start line in Brussels on July 6. Bernal, who enjoyed a revelatory first season at WorldTour level, will lead the team at the Giro, starting in Bologna on May 11.

Explaining his decision to target the Tour, Froome said: “It’s been a hard decision to figure out exactly what to do in 2019 and figure out which Grand Tours to focus on, especially having won the Giro last year and having had such an amazing time out there with the team – but for 2019, my number one objective is going to be the Tour de France.

“It was definitely a difficult decision not to go back to the Giro d’Italia and defend the maglia rosa. I’ve got some amazing memories from last year, but I think, with the Tour de France as my main objective, it’s probably better that I skip the Giro d’Italia in 2019.

“I’m getting to the point in my career now where I’m starting to think about what kind of legacy I want to leave behind and if I am able to win the Tour de France for a fifth time and join that very elite group of bike riders - only four other people have ever done that - it would just be incredible.”

Thomas also confirmed that he will be targeting the Tour in 2019, as well as eyeing the time trial World Championships which are being held on British soil in Yorkshire. He said: “The main goal for me will be to go back to the Tour de France for the best result I can. Maybe if I hadn’t have won the Tour in 2018 I might have looked at a Giro / Vuelta programme but, having won the Tour, I’ll have the number one on my back and it would be sad not to go back and not to go back at 100% as well.

“The year will be geared around that, but I’m also looking forward to a slightly different programme as well, and obviously after the Tour, the Worlds in Yorkshire will be massive.

“I think the time trial will be my best chance of getting something out of it. It will be a good goal to have for the end of the year. I certainly want to be there because the support in the UK and in Yorkshire especially is just unbelievable at the moment. They’re going to be a massive Worlds and it will be great to be a part of that.”

Bernal, 21, is excited about tackling the Giro for the first time - a race close to his heart. He said: “The Giro is a race that I really, really like. I lived in Italy for three years, so I have a lot of friends there and I really like the Italian fans. I know the roads, I really like the Giro, and I want to do a good race there."

And the Colombian will start his season on home soil, as defending champion at the Tour Colombia.“I’m really excited to do the Tour Colombia. It will be the first race with Froomey there so we want to do it well! It’s at home and I want to do a good race for the fans, for my family, and for Colombia. It’s incredible how the fans support us and it’s right at home. It will be good.”
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Posts

  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,515
    Not a surprise but does have all the hallmarks of another Wiggins Froome 2012 situation.
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,145
    redvision wrote:
    Not a surprise but does have all the hallmarks of another Wiggins Froome 2012 situation.

    I don't think so, Geraint will be happy to be the faithful lieutenant once again (unless he hides it well I reckon his road career has been held back by lacking the selfish streak it takes to be hugely successful) unless Froome isn't in form. Would rather have seen Geraint target the Giro and Bernal get blooded at the Vuelta though.
  • shipleyshipley Posts: 551
    Pross wrote:
    Would rather have seen Geraint target the Giro and Bernal get blooded at the Vuelta though.

    God, so do I. I’d much rather see him go after his own win, supported by a full team without the threat of the stick insect spoiling his party.

    Odd decision in my mind but then I’m sure there’s been lots of discussions about it that we’re not privy to and there’s also the team $$ to consider.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,609
    The Thomas/Giro, Froome/Tour, Bernall/ Vuelta seems like the perfect recipe but I can see why Thomas wants to go back to the Tour. The future of the team, if there is one will have an effect on the Tour you’d think,
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,595
    I think Froome had to defend his Tour, to cede leadership to Froome would almost be to concede the 2018 win was because Froome was out of sorts. I want to see the big guns going head to head and two of them being in the same team only adds to the expectation.
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  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    Thomas goes to Tour because Brailsford reckons he can sell Sky to a serious sponsor if he can show that the team is pretty much guaranteed TdF winning machine. Sky have to have TdF 2019 thus their best chances are with No1 and No2.

    Personally, I am just gutted that Kwiato didn't even turn out to be number 3.
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 1,644
    Not sure Kwiatkowski can maintain form for three weeks, unfortunately. Would love to see him getting sole leadership for an Ardennes + Giro run though!
    PTP Champion 2019
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,018
    pottssteve wrote:
    only four other people have ever done that

    five isn't it?
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,263
    davidof wrote:
    pottssteve wrote:
    only four other people have ever done that

    five isn't it?

    Depends on your point of view :lol:
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,018
    salsiccia1 wrote:
    davidof wrote:
    pottssteve wrote:
    only four other people have ever done that

    five isn't it?

    Depends on your point of view :lol:

    I guess he doesn't want to go all "Wiggins" on us :-)
  • mamil314 wrote:
    Thomas goes to Tour because Brailsford reckons he can sell Sky to a serious sponsor if he can show that the team is pretty much guaranteed TdF winning machine. Sky have to have TdF 2019 thus their best chances are with No1 and No2.

    Personally, I am just gutted that Kwiato didn't even turn out to be number 3.

    Brailsford will need the new owner + sponsor in place before the Tour if they're going to continue though.
  • markwb79markwb79 Posts: 926
    Comparing where Thomas is now compared to 12 months ago. I dont think there is any chance he will be in the right condition to contend for a tour win.
    Scott Addict 2011
    Giant TCR 2012
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902
    edited January 2019
    markwb79 wrote:
    Comparing where Thomas is now compared to 12 months ago. I dont think there is any chance he will be in the right condition to contend for a tour win.
    This is how the past first time winners followed up their debut win:

    Nibali: 4th
    Froome: DNF
    Wiggins: Never rode it again
    Evans: 7th
    Sastre: 16th (2nd in Giro)
    Contador: DNS (won the Giro)
    Armstrong: 1st
    Pantani: DNS
    Riis: 7th

    (I excluded Schleck and Pereiro as they were not declared official winner until much later)

    I can see 7th being a position he might finish in
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    Im not sure the announcement necessarily clears anything up for the Tour, other than it stops it constantly being asked as a question repeatedly, but youd be crazy to restrict your riders options this far out as anything can happen between now and the Grand Depart, so its more a holding statement than anything IMO
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 14,443
    What's a good result for Bernal?
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  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 14,443
    RichN95 wrote:
    markwb79 wrote:
    Comparing where Thomas is now compared to 12 months ago. I dont think there is any chance he will be in the right condition to contend for a tour win.
    This is how the past first time winners followed up their debut win:

    Nibali: 4th
    Froome: DNF
    Wiggins: Never rode it again
    Evans: 7th
    Sastre: 16th (2nd in Giro)
    Contador: DNS (won the Giro)
    Armstrong: 1st
    Pantani: DNS
    Riis: 7th

    (I excluded Schleck and Pereiro as they were not declared official winner until much later)

    I can see 7th being a position he might finish in


    One of the striking things when you look at a list of tour winners is the pattern of 4 or 5 time winners broken up by 4 or 5 different winners

    Will 2019 be another Froome year or a period of different winners?
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
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  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902


    One of the striking things when you look at a list of tour winners is the pattern of 4 or 5 time winners broken up by 4 or 5 different winners

    Will 2019 be another Froome year or a period of different winners?
    If you were to include Contador (who missed/lost a few Tours due to doping matters) and LeMond (who was shot), the longest period between the big winners was four years 1965-68.

    The next 4-5 winner is almost certainly already on a World Tour team. There's never really been a period when the Tour has been an open race.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902
    What's a good result for Bernal?
    It depends how it's achieved really. A Yates like Giro would be better than an anonymous tenth, for example. With an incident free run, I think he'd be disappointed to finish outside the top five.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,422
    RichN95 wrote:
    What's a good result for Bernal?
    It depends how it's achieved really. A Yates like Giro would be better than an anonymous tenth, for example. With an incident free run, I think he'd be disappointed to finish outside the top five.

    I reckon he'll be aiming for a podium
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  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    For completeness and not being pedantic you missed out Ullrich who then came second the year latter. Probably one of the best seconds in the most interesting tour.

    Funny that Ullrich had a reputation to party but was able to come back and nearly defend his title, which is the point you are making.
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,145
    gsk82 wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    What's a good result for Bernal?
    It depends how it's achieved really. A Yates like Giro would be better than an anonymous tenth, for example. With an incident free run, I think he'd be disappointed to finish outside the top five.

    I reckon he'll be aiming for a podium

    I'd be surprised if he is being sent there as team leader with anything less than a podium being expected, especially given the sponsor situation.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,128
    Pross wrote:
    I'd be surprised if he is being sent there as team leader with anything less than a podium being expected, especially given the sponsor situation.

    I doubt it. Sky don't put unnecessary pressure on younger riders. Bernal clearly has talent to burn, but he's inexperienced in GTs and they won't put undue pressure on him to perform.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,515
    So I know they get on off the bike (or are at least supposed to) but does no-one else think this is a big risk by team sky?

    I know they really need to claim the top step of the podium because of the sponsor situation, and taking both G and CF gives them a very strong chance. However, if the sponsor hasn't been signed by July, or even if a new one has been found, what if a situation arises like in 2012??

    There is no way G will want to relinquish his crown and Froome will be determined to regain the yellow jersey. As movistar showed this year, having multiple leaders doesn't guarantee anything and is more likely to cause confusion and internal disruption. If the competition between the two does create negativity and ultimately leads to failure in the tour what happens with them? Both are on long term, high salary contracts, so would any new sponsor honour their commitment to invest in a team with internal divisions between their stars?

    I know it's all hypothetical and probably won't happen but i still think Sky are taking a huge risk and would be better off by aiming to take all three gt's, rather than throwing everything at the tour.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    andyp wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    I'd be surprised if he is being sent there as team leader with anything less than a podium being expected, especially given the sponsor situation.

    I doubt it. Sky don't put unnecessary pressure on younger riders. Bernal clearly has talent to burn, but he's inexperienced in GTs and they won't put undue pressure on him to perform.

    Surely they'll be looking for all the results they can get to secure a sponsor for next season. No point being gentle on the guy. If they do he is likely to be riding for someone else's team next year.

    Ordinarily I'd agree with you - but they're in trouble this year.
  • markwb79markwb79 Posts: 926
    Pross wrote:
    gsk82 wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    What's a good result for Bernal?
    It depends how it's achieved really. A Yates like Giro would be better than an anonymous tenth, for example. With an incident free run, I think he'd be disappointed to finish outside the top five.

    I reckon he'll be aiming for a podium

    I'd be surprised if he is being sent there as team leader with anything less than a podium being expected, especially given the sponsor situation.

    With all the talent they have, add to that the sponsor situation.

    I would be very surprised if they was going there with any aim other than to win.


    Personally I dont really buy it that anyone at the top of elite sport enters a competition with the goal of becoming 2nd or 3rd lower.
    Scott Addict 2011
    Giant TCR 2012
  • markwb79markwb79 Posts: 926
    redvision wrote:
    So I know they get on off the bike (or are at least supposed to) but does no-one else think this is a big risk by team sky?

    I know they really need to claim the top step of the podium because of the sponsor situation, and taking both G and CF gives them a very strong chance. However, if the sponsor hasn't been signed by July, or even if a new one has been found, what if a situation arises like in 2012??

    There is no way G will want to relinquish his crown and Froome will be determined to regain the yellow jersey. As movistar showed this year, having multiple leaders doesn't guarantee anything and is more likely to cause confusion and internal disruption. If the competition between the two does create negativity and ultimately leads to failure in the tour what happens with them? Both are on long term, high salary contracts, so would any new sponsor honour their commitment to invest in a team with internal divisions between their stars?

    I know it's all hypothetical and probably won't happen but i still think Sky are taking a huge risk and would be better off by aiming to take all three gt's, rather than throwing everything at the tour.


    I dont see it as that different to 2018. They planned for that race knowing there was a chance that Froome wasnt at his best/peak after the giro and Thomas was there as 'backup' - So they was both leaders.

    This year they are both leaders again, this time they have Thomas who is (I would suggest) far from where he was 12 months ago, probably a lot heavier, not done as much training. Froome, although he didnt do La Vuelta and probably finished the year quite tired. He has still been training at a similar level to 12 months ago I would suspect.
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  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,609
    RichN95 wrote:
    markwb79 wrote:
    Comparing where Thomas is now compared to 12 months ago. I dont think there is any chance he will be in the right condition to contend for a tour win.
    This is how the past first time winners followed up their debut win:

    Nibali: 4th
    Froome: DNF
    Wiggins: Never rode it again
    Evans: 7th
    Sastre: 16th (2nd in Giro)
    Contador: DNS (won the Giro)
    Armstrong: 1st
    Pantani: DNS
    Riis: 7th

    (I excluded Schleck and Pereiro as they were not declared official winner until much later)

    I can see 7th being a position he might finish in
    I'm probably being dumb, but i don't understand the list... I mean, Hinault, as one example,won the Tour in '78 then again in '79.
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 1,644
    Regarding Bernal, think anything 3rd or better is a good (great) result.

    Regarding G and Froome, I don't think there is any internal issue. I think Froome is the better climber and has the better metrics and probably smashes every other rider in training test situations. He is the top dog of the team with enough of a mean streak to make sure there is no doubt. It's only his own form that could even be considered in question. And he is super professional and motivated, so he will finish above G if he doesn't fall off.
    PTP Champion 2019
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    inseine wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    markwb79 wrote:
    Comparing where Thomas is now compared to 12 months ago. I dont think there is any chance he will be in the right condition to contend for a tour win.
    This is how the past first time winners followed up their debut win:

    Nibali: 4th
    Froome: DNF
    Wiggins: Never rode it again
    Evans: 7th
    Sastre: 16th (2nd in Giro)
    Contador: DNS (won the Giro)
    Armstrong: 1st
    Pantani: DNS
    Riis: 7th

    (I excluded Schleck and Pereiro as they were not declared official winner until much later)

    I can see 7th being a position he might finish in
    I'm probably being dumb, but i don't understand the list... I mean, Hinault, as one example,won the Tour in '78 then again in '79.

    I think what Rich is trying to say is, you either win the tour multiple times and dominate or you win then struggle to win or get anywhere in the next tour.

    Like the often said cliche, it’s easy to win the first time, it’s following up that’s hard.

    I think my Ullrich example is interesting as he was pencilled in to dominate for years but we all know how that went. Would he have fallen into the multiple champion group if drugs didn’t become an even bigger player....
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,609
    chrisw12 wrote:
    inseine wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    markwb79 wrote:
    Comparing where Thomas is now compared to 12 months ago. I dont think there is any chance he will be in the right condition to contend for a tour win.
    This is how the past first time winners followed up their debut win:

    Nibali: 4th
    Froome: DNF
    Wiggins: Never rode it again
    Evans: 7th
    Sastre: 16th (2nd in Giro)
    Contador: DNS (won the Giro)
    Armstrong: 1st
    Pantani: DNS
    Riis: 7th

    (I excluded Schleck and Pereiro as they were not declared official winner until much later)

    I can see 7th being a position he might finish in
    I'm probably being dumb, but i don't understand the list... I mean, Hinault, as one example,won the Tour in '78 then again in '79.

    I think what Rich is trying to say is, you either win the tour multiple times and dominate or you win then struggle to win or get anywhere in the next tour.

    Like the often said cliche, it’s easy to win the first time, it’s following up that’s hard.

    I think my Ullrich example is interesting as he was pencilled in to dominate for years but we all know how that went. Would he have fallen into the multiple champion group if drugs didn’t become an even bigger player....
    Ok, but Contador won it again and won 6 or 7 (at least!) GTs in his career.
    What Thomas has against him is obviously his age
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