Chris Froome, who has won four Tour de France titles, reflects on Team Sky’s legacy as the chapter closes this week after a decade.
“I think the number of people who started riding bikes as a result of Sky’s involvement in cycling. I think it’s the biggest legacy that Sky will leave,” Froome said.
“Obviously there’s all the Tour de France victories but more than that the millions of people who now ride a bike every day or at least a few times a week as a result result Sky’s involvement, I think that is the biggest legacy.”
Team Sky debuted in 2010, which marked the first time Great Britain had a top tier team. Part of the team’s push was to get a million more people on their bikes in the UK.
“The first meeting all together was in the UK, that first time all of the riders and all the staff were together and I can just remember the feeling, ‘This is something big and so different to what I’m used to.’
I spent two years with Barloworld and already in November 2009 in Manchester I think,” Froome continued.
“I remember just from an organisation point of view, I just had the feeling that this is on a much bigger scale than Barloworld! I could just remember the excitement in the group of the staff and the riders, the anticipation of what was to come.”
Froome debuted in the 2010 Tour Down Under with his first win with Sky coming in 2011, stage 17 at the Vuelta a España. The team is now one of the best teams, with the second most victories, 43, behind Quick-Step in 2018.
“It definitely has a special history in the place of the sport now especially given the victories that Sky has had as the sponsor,” he added.
“Over the past 10 years, it is definitely an era there where not just for us on the road as professional cyclists but also for the excitement in the buzz that it created in Britain.”
The performance side centred on the Tour de France, winning with the first British rider, which they acomplished with Bradley Wiggins in 2012. Froome placed second and the following year, won his first of four titles. His palmarès now includes the 2017 Vuelta a España and the 2018 Giro d’Italia.
“I’ve got so many special memories,” Froome added. “But either last year’s Giro or the win on the top of Mont Ventoux in 2013 was one of the most special moments of my Sky career.”