Team's Sky's success secrets in Tour De France 2012
As our bike shop in Lexington watched the 2012 Tour de France, the winning strategy of Britain's Team Sky stood out among the highlights and notable things about the race this year. Sky's overwhelming success was not only due to some incredible individual performances, but an overall strategy of putting the team first, even when doing so was hard on individual riders.
Bradley Wiggins took home England's first yellow jersey, no big shock to anyone who followed the race. Wiggins had held a comfortable lead for a long distance, over many days. By Saturday, the win was more or less certain, after Wiggins won his second time trial.
When Wiggins finished, his teammate Chris Froome followed just 3:21 after. The closeness was particularly memorable in light of Wiggins-Froome dynamics which had drawn media attention earlier on in the race.
Froome surpassed expectations with his outstanding performance on mountain climbs, testing Team Sky's winning strategy of pushing Wiggins to the lead. The team's faith was on Wiggins' ability to win the time trials, and Froome was held back in several stages to ensure Wiggins' lead. Tension over this strategy erupted in an catty twitter skirmish between Froome's girlfriend and Wiggins' wife, starting in the 11th stage.
Team Sky's teamwork also made its mark when Mark Cavendish was assisted in taking a fourth consecutive stage win on the Champs-Elysees. Wiggins expressed appreciation for Sky's teamwork. "It's magnificent," he said. "For us to finish like this as a team, helping Mark to victory and allowing him to defend his record here... it's incredible."