Sir Dave Brailsford sets Team Sky the target of winning all three Grand Tours in 2016, as well as winning a Monument

Team Sky often set themselves lofty expectations, but principal Sir Dave Brailsford is targetting victory in all three Grand Tours next season.

The British team have only triumphed at the Tour de France (2012, 2013 & 2015), with second-place finishes in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, by Rigoberto Uran (2013) and Chris Froome (2011 & 2014) respectively, their best results in the other two.

But with a host of new signings on board for the 2016 season, Brailsford hopes the team can challenge on all three fronts, as well as having high hopes for Classics success.

“Winning the big races intermittently is great, but ultimately, the challenge is to maintain that level of performance over a long period of time,” Brailsford told skysports.com. “That is what we intend to do and that is what is driving us forward.

“At a preliminary stage, I don’t see why we can’t go for all three Grand Tours and have a real good crack at that. It’s very premature, but that would certainly be something that looks attractive next year.

“We still want a Monument. We have got to put a lot of thought and effort into that next year, for sure.”

With Mikel Landa joining from Astana, Sky have a young but experienced rider in place to tackle the Giro d’Italia next May. The Spaniard finished third and won two stages at the 2015 edition, all while playing second fiddle to Fabio Aru.

The 25-year-old could also double up to take on the Vuelta in the autumn, but Sky have an embarrassment of riches in their stage racing paddock, with Geraint Thomas likely to prioritise the multi-day events next year and could be one to lead at a Grand Tour.

With Sergio Henao returning to his best following a serious knee injury, and super domestiques in the shape of Leopold Koenig, Mikel Nieve and Beñat Intxausti, Sky’s potential Giro squad has never looked stronger.

If Sky are to win one of the five one-day Monuments – something that has eluded them in their six-year history, new boy Michal Kwiatkowski is their best bet, having shown his Ardennes Classics credentials with his Amstel Gold Race win in April.

In the cobbled Classics, Thomas would be the team’s strongest chance of immediate success, although Luke Rowe is proving himself to be a rising star over the pavé, with his eighth-place finish at Paris-Roubaix this season.

Brailsford is not the only team boss to be targetting a clean sweep next season, with Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov claiming Alberto Contador and Rafal Majka could win all three Grand Tours between them.

The gauntlet has well and truly been thrown down.

  • Peter Joosten

    Dutch media suggested that Wout Poels was to receive team captaincy in the Giro next year. It’d be nice to see a compatriot of mine perform well there but I wonder what all these new signings will mean for him. Despite him having proven to be up there with the best climbers even without support (riding for Vacansoleil in the Vuelta) it’d be difficult to imagine him being given preference over Landa. Or Thomas for that matter, but his focus on the Flemish races will probably mean he’d be more likely to try his hands at the Vuelta instead…

  • nortonpdj

    That would be Astana I suppose.

  • eminusx

    who’s that then? If you’re so certain of something why all the cloak and dagger? or are you just another pathetic internet troll?

  • Andrew Bairsto

    I think Ritchie Porte had good reasons for leaving Sky.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    If I were a drug tester I would look very very closely at a certain team.

  • cusser from jamaica

    Landa cannot time trial. crucial quality for winning a grand tour. Kirienka will be back on haulage duties until the next TT. Roche will be Kwiatkowski’s last man standing in the Ardennes. Granite Thomas will come out from this 2 tour season with blistering new lung strength and win Flanders thus reminding his bosses of what he was born to do-win monuments! Sky should not have let Ritchie Porte go cuz he was good for the week long races and better for Chris in the high mtns. Stannard and Rowe will raise many Belgian beers in victory celebrations! And get Sean Yates back in the car! Blasting that rock and roll!

  • Roger

    T-Mobile was a very different set-up in a completely different era, hopefully.

  • elan

    Because you sign big names and have lots of cash does not mean you will win lots of races.He should look at TMobile in the previous tour challenges,what happened there?This was the Man United of cycling.If they had Contadors cycling aptitude they might.Should be a good season though,Aru,Contador,Froome.Contador the only one along with Aru who could win 2 Tours.Good season coming up in 2016.

  • Vance Harvey

    Looking at the number of errors that occur, both grammatically and factually, I don’t think anyone really checks what is written prior to posting the articles, which is a shame really. There are also quite a few grammatical errors in Cycling Mag, which is poor for a professional set up!

  • Lee Wingate

    I see no one checks the original before posting. last i knew, Team Sky won in 2012, 13 and 15. you might need to update the sentence… “The British team have only triumphed at the Tour de France (2012 & 2013)…..”…. insert 2015.

  • David Bassett

    Why no mention of Vasil Kiryienka ?