Consider this: Just 12 months ago, a British rider had never won a Grand Tour.

Now we’re in the process of wining our second. Last year’s Vuelta was the breakthrough, with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome rehearsing their master and servant routine. Second and third overall in Spain last year translates to winner and runner-up in the Tour de France this year. Now, for the first time, Froome is off the leash, leading Team Sky, and he’s making a pretty good job of it too. Our man is matching the Spanish climbers, all the while aware that he’s the best time triallist in the race.

The Vuelta is his to lose – and no one’s surprised. How quickly we’ve become used to British greatness. Of course, success breeds success. Because of the potential of the British win, ITV4 is broadcasting an unprecedented second Grand Tour. And because it’s on mainstream TV, it’ll grow awareness of Froome, Team Sky and the race. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid bike racing these days, since we’ve managed to infiltrate the homes of the nation. Television validates cycling as an acceptable leisure pursuit. If it’s on TV it must be OK. We’ve gone mainstream and not before time!

Robert Garbutt, Editor.

  • teddy

    im not a sky fan but i dont get all the Wiggo and Sky management bashing – Froome has had a sharp rise in grand tour performance and from what i recall was going to have to search for another contract until last years great Vuelta performance.
    It takes more than one good tour result to prove yourself and then win one. Has any rider won the first grand tour they entered -i seem to recall it has happened – but is v.rare. I have read and heard many grand tour winner say what a large step it is to go from even a podium position to winning, what with all the added pressure and time commitments etc.
    You couldnt be certain Froome would be able to replicate what he did in the Vuelta last year . In interview he says he is learning a lot about being team leader at the Vuelta this year – and enjoys the race and its more laid back atmosphere compared to TDF. He needs to learn this – it dosnt mean he could have won the TDF instead of Wiggins just because he looked stronger on most climbs – there is more to it than that

  • geegee

    Sky has worked the arse off Froome this season, he could have won the TdeF now he’s been put in a grand tour in an exhausted condition; shame on Sky’s management.

  • Sam

    I read in the print edition this week “Now we’re in the process of winning our second” and cringed, and now I’m cringing again…for a couple of reasons. (1) Froome is not going to win. (2) Please don’t try to boost the great sport of cycling through the sort of jingoistic clap-trap that one hears around football coverage. The Vuelta has been fantastic racing and great television. Surely that’s a better reason to rejoice in the rise of interest in cycling in the UK?

  • peter houston

    froome has sold his sole for the wiggos yellow with sky second division support only in the vuelta, his only hope is to hang in with sky and hope wiggo, retires early…..this i think is a ploy to show his greatness is not quite there yet and to make a thought that the yellow jersey is just that snip better clever cycology …by the boys in black….as for a nation on the brink of bikers wheres cameron making statements or even comments…nothing …nothing mm …the only comment he has ever made in the house is his own bike being stolen …