Tour de France teams: Wiggo heads Team Sky
No surprises there, then, but the Team Sky line-up looks competitive on a number of fronts. Young Norwegian Edvald Boasson-Hagen has proved his worth in stage races, and could be a contender for a few sprints, and Geraint Thomas, the newly appointed UK National Champion, at only 24 already has one full Tour de France under his belt.
Super-domÃ©stique Michael Barry joins Simon Cummings on his Tour dÃ©but, and Thomas LÃ¶fkvist, winner of this year’s Monte Paschi Eroica, will bring a bit of grit and climbing support for Wiggins. Juan Antonio Flecha also provides some experience and toughness to the newly formed British squad.
In a sense, for Dave Brailsford’s boys, the whole of this season has been leading up to the Tour de France, and this year’s race, being their first, could well turn out to be a rehearsal for next year’s Tour, when the team, with more experience, will hope to get closer to its mastermind’s stated aim: a British Tour winner.
Until then, expect them to be super well drilled, and claim one or two carefully rehearsed stage victories. Wiggins, an unknown quantity on the road last year, surprised many with his climbing ability; this year, he will be much better marked, but a podium finish is still the goal and (this Brit hopes) a possibility.
The team in full:
Michael Barry (CAN)
Stephen Cummings (GBR)
Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)
Simon Gerrans (AUS)
Thomas LÃ¶fkvist (SWE)
Serge Pauwels (BEL)
Geraint Thomas (GBR)
Bradley Wiggins (GBR)