Grand Tour Hunting – Why Sky have their work cut out

Sky, in one of their usual slightly over the top PR announcements, claimed that having ‘set an marker’ in winning the Tour de France (doesn’t everyone who wins it do so?), they would now set to dominate the Grand Tours and the sport by attempting to win all three in one year. Given Alberto Contador recently said he’d dropped his goal of individually winning all three Tours in the same year, Sky’s goal is the next logical step, but it is hard to see how they will manage a feat that on one has achieved in the 109 year history of the three Grand Tours, and that the team double has been achieved by teams or individuals just 23 times.

Bradley Wiggins supposedly may be targeting the Giro and Vuelta next year, with Chris Froome going for the Tour, which is the obvious combination, and could easily be switched, but would undoubtably mean Wiggins wouldn’t even ride in the centenary Tour to defend his title, which seems unlikely. A more likely scenario would be to send Froome to the Giro, then to the Tour to support Wiggins once more, then send the Colombian contingent of Henao and Uran to the Vuelta, but again, this has issues given the comments between Froome and Wiggins on leadership. In essence, if the team wants to win all three grand Tours, it will require a shift in the thought process of how teams and their riders work, ie that the riders will now be at the disposal of the team rather then the team trying to do what’s best for the riders. This seems like a recipe for disaster, but no doubt Sky will prove me wrong….

Contador’s gun hand logo now legitmately has the red band in, but he’s no longer going to try for all three in one year.


Grand Tour Doubles

2010: Liquigas (Basso, Giro, Nibali, Vuelta)

2008: Astana (Contador, Giro/Vuelta)

2005: Discovery Channel (Salvodelli, Giro, Armstrong, Tour)

2003: US Postal (Armstrong, Tour, Heras, Vuelta)

1998: Mercante Uno (Pantani, Giro/Tour)

1993: Banesto (Indurain, Giro/Tour)

1992: Banesto (Indurain, Giro/Tour)

1987: Carrera-Inoxpran (Roche, Giro/Tour)

1985: La Vie Claire (Hinault, Giro/Tour)

1983: Renault Elf (Fignon, Tour, Hinault, Vuelta)

1982: Renault Elf-Gitane (Hinault, Giro/Tour)

1981: Inoxpran (Battaglin, Giro/Vuelta)

1978: Renault Elf (Hinault, Tour/Vuelta)

1974: Molteni (Merckx, Giro/Tour)

1973: Molteni (Merckx, Giro/Vuelta)

1972: Molteni (Merckx, Giro/Tour)

1970: Faema (Merckx, Giro/Tour)

1964: Saint-Raphael (Anquetil, Giro/Tour)

1963: Saint-Raphael (Anquetil, Tour/Vuelta)

1962: Saint-Raphael (Anquetil, Giro, Altig, Vuelta)

1955: France (Bobet, Tour, Dotto, Vuelta)

1952: Bianchi (Coppi, Giro/Tour)

1949: Bianchi (Coppi, Giro/Tour)

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