Having strengthened their squad in the off-season, Team Sky are seeking success in both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia next season, with Chris Froome hoping to defend his Tour title and Mikel Landa targeting the Giro.
At the route presentation for the 2016 Tour de France in Paris, Dave Brailsford gave away the team’s lofty ambitions, telling Cyclingnews that Sky would send capable squads to each race with the aim of bringing back overall honours in both events.
“For his first season with us I think Mikel will focus on the Giro in the first part. The Tour and the Giro, it’s not an A squad and a B squad. We’re going to go at both races at full gas this year,” he said.
Team Sky have looked at securing the double in previous seasons, notably in 2013 and 2015, but in both instances they fell short in the Giro before securing the yellow jersey in the Tour courtesy of Froome. With the British rider keen to attempt the defence of his title, and new recruit Landa – who was third in the Giro this year – Brailsford will need to delicately and meticulously plan for the assault. But on Tuesday all eyes were on the Tour, with ASO presenting a balanced route but one that certainly has characteristics that play into Froome’s hands.
Although time trial kilometres are still relatively thin on the ground, the cobbles from the last two editions have been removed and Mont Ventoux, where Froome stamped his authority on the race in 2013, makes a return. The time trial kilometres are far from the traditional flat courses, with stage 13 from Bourg-Saint-Andéol to La Caverne du Pont-d’Arc offering up 37 kilometres of rolling terrain. Stage 18 to Sallanches to Megève provides an almost exclusively uphill 17kilometre test.
“I think that it looks really good and quite exciting. I think that they’ve got quite a good mix of mountain stages, hill-top finishes, and I think the two individual time trials will make it really interesting,” Brailsford mused after the presentation.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com