'We understand the rules, so why not?': Sky to continue with 'vortex' skinsuits in Tour de France time trial

The British team will use the same skinsuits as they used and proved controversial on stage one of the Tour de France in Düsseldorf

Chris Froome on stage one of the 2017 Tour de France (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Team Sky say they will use every advantage within the rules for the Tour de France time trial in Marseille on Saturday, including wearing those time-saving vortex skinsuits again.

Selected riders, excluding Chris Froome in the organiser's yellow kit, will use the newly designed "TT Suit 4.0" that made headlines three weeks ago in Düsseldorf.

>>> ‘Don’t expect miracles, Chris Froome will win the 2017 Tour de France’

"You know that all of this adds up and it's a marginal gain," sports director Nicolas Portal explained. "All the teams have those little things that makes them X faster over 100 kilometres when testing.

"When you collect all of this, it can make a small difference. And when you are see how hard the guys work, all of them, not just the GC riders, on the diet and training, then why not? As long as we understand the rules, then why not use it?"

The team rolled out the skinsuit in the Giro d'Italia time trial, where Geraint Thomas finished second after crashing two days beforehand. Sky riders wore them again in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Geraint Thomas wins the stage one time trial of the 2017 Tour de France. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

In the Tour de France in Düsseldorf, perhaps now because the kits were white, they raised eyebrows.

General manager of team FDJ, Marc Madiot complained and French newspaper L'Equipe printed headlines "EXCÈS DE VITESSE" ("Excessive Speed") and "Sky accusée de tricherie" ("Sky accused of cheating").

Froome will wear a stock yellow skinsuit from organiser ASO on Saturday's stage 20, however, because he leads the race.

Portal said that riders including Mikel Landa, fourth overall, and former world time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka will race in the new fabric.

"I think that Froomey can't use that special skin suit because he's in the one not made by us,” Portal continued.

“In theory, it's a disadvantage not to have that same skinsuit but our other riders will have them. These are rules, based on rules, and some people are professional enough to do a good job."

Landa when asked if the skinsuit would be enough to propel him from fourth at 1-23 minutes to first overall, laughed. He said, "I don't think it'll be enough."

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