Sky’s marginal gain motorhome for Richie Porte has “very little chance to survive” because of its complexity. The British team is using it for the first time in the Giro d’Italia this month as a test run for Chris Froome in the Tour de France in July, but rivals squads are not keen on the idea.
Australian Porte sleeps in the motorhome each night in the parking lot of Sky’s team hotel. His eight team-mates use the hotel and see Porte at night for dinner and in the morning for breakfast.
Sky explained that it believes the advantage will help Porte, who will not have to deal with the stress of a different rooms each night and the possible risk of nasty hotel bugs. Other teams do not agree.
“It’s an interesting concept but a little controversial,” owner of rival team Tinkoff-Saxo, Oleg Tinkov told Cycling Weekly.
“They are trying something new, but I’m quite convinced it’s not going to work. It could be more trouble than it’s worth. There’s a lot of work around it, you have to clean it, move it, it’s expensive and for one rider, but I give it very little chance for it to survive.”
Asked if the Tinkoff’s star, Spaniard Alberto Contador would use a motorhome for the Giro d’Italia or for the Tour de France in July, Tinkov laughed.
“He can sleep in my villa in Forte di Marmi instead of a motorhome,” Tinkov said. “In France? I only have one villa there.”
“Stressful to change hotels? No, that’s cycling,” said Italian Davide Bramati, sports director of Etixx-QuickStep, whose overall contender is Colombian Rigoberto Urán.
“We’ve always changed hotels every night during a Grand Tour. Sky’s trying the idea, but we are going to have to see the end of the Giro if it works. Let’s see, maybe it’ll bring him an advantage to always sleep in the same hotel, the same space, on the same mattress, on the same pillow. Let’s see.”
“Maybe you’re own room or bed will change everything, but then what?” Astana team manager, Giuseppe Martinelli said. “If we do if for Richie Porte, are we going to have to do it for the whole world? We are going to need nine buses for everyone on the team or nine beds within the bus.
“Sky has the potential to do this and even more. We can do it, but it depends on where you want to go. We’d need to study it well. When we are in Turin for the start of the last stage of this Giro, I’ll tell you who had the right idea.”
Martinelli said that his Tour de France star, Italian Nibali would gladly sleep with his team-mate Alessandro Vanotti in the hotels at the Tour this July.
“Certainly, though, if you think you are going to need it in the Giro, then you’ll need it even more at Tour,” added Martinelli. “The hotels in France are worse than in Italy.”