Can Sky ride the storm?

As winners of the Tour de France, the WorldTour standings and the team with the most wins in 2012, Team Sky should be spending the brief off season basking in the glow of a job well done.

Instead Dave Brailsford has found himself in an impossibly difficult situation thanks to the actions of Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, and a bunch of people wholy irrelevant in the careers of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Sky’s current crop of talented young riders.

The fallout from the USADA investigation has seen Team Sky, one of few overtly clean teams in the peloton, feeling the heat and losing key staff at an incredible rate.

Back in 2009 Dave Brailsford said that the team would have no assocition with doping, the USADA aftermath has now given him the clout to force that standpoint through. But as a result he is slowly dismantling a hugely successful team.

There’s little doubt that the imputus is coming from the sponsor, and you have to admire the aim to build a team that no one can question, but is it the best way to do it? The likes of David Millar and Brian Holm have proved that riders who have doped in the past can ful fill a credible role in a clean team.

Sky may find itself with few, if any, experienced DSs next season, and this will impact directly on results. Wiggins’s bid for the 2013 Giro and Froome’s bid for the Tour could be in compromised already.

This article was first published in the November 1 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio and download from the Apple store.