If you’ve ever considered watching a cobble classic, this could be the year to do it if you want to see a Brit win.
There’s been rumblings of Team Sky’s Classics campaign for a few months now but the first evidence of the commitment came at the Tour Down Under with Geraint Thomas’ stage win and third overall.
Two year’s ago the Welsh wonder rode to10th in the Tour of Flanders just because he could. Now the Sky boffins are working on a master plan to get him on the podium and if Geraint’s form on stage two of the Aussie race is any indication, he’ll be unstoppable by Easter.
While last year’s Flanders winner, Tom Boonen is sidelined by injury after a mountain bike crash, Thomas continues to pile up the miles with ground breaking specific pre-season training masterminded by sports scientist Tim Kerrison, the man who helped Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome at last year’s Tour de France.
Thomas admits that initially he wasn’t convinced by the plan. “But we’ve all bought into it now, so we will give it a good bash this year and see what happens,’ he says. “It’s not been done before but specific training worked for the Tour boys.”
He’s not wrong. Kerrison certainly has credibility and Sky’s grandly titled Head of Performance Support is also plotting Wiggins’ Giro campaign. Plans to bring Britain’s most famous cyclist to peak form for May are apparently going well and although Sir Bradley isn’t targeting repeat success in Paris-Nice he will be stretching his legs in Liege-Bastogne-Liege in anticipation of the Italian job.
This article was first published in the January 31 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio, download from the Apple store and also through Kindle Fire.