It has long been written in cycling law that riders who focus on the Tour de France,must manage their form carefully throughout the season.Only on a handful of occasions has a rider done the Dauphine/Tour double.Since 1980,it has only happened 5 times.Hinault in 81,Indurain in 95,Armstrong in 02 and 03 and finally Wiggins in 2012.Obviously 1,if not more of these riders achieved this feat with the aid of performance enhancing drugs,it makes it seem all the more difficult to achieve.However,Team Sky stand on the verge of achieving the double in consecutive years with different riders.It makes me ask the questions “What do they know that the other teams don’t?Have they unlocked the secret formula?”
In 2012 Wiggins won Paris-Nice,Romandie and the Dauphine,he finished 3rd in Algarve.
This year Chris Froome has won Oman,the Criterium,Romandie and the Dauphine,he finished 2nd in Tirreno.It seems that they have actually improved from last year.No doubt,this is great for their sponsors as they are winning races all year round but it is still unusual in the world of profressional cycling.
That brings us to the burning question,”Has Froome peaked too soon?”
Both Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche believe so and if you follow the history books they would agree with them.If he does manage to pull it off it will leave the other teams seriously questioning their own training programmes and wondering what Sky are actually doing to achieve these results.
If Froome is to win then the announcement of the Team Sky roster will make it more difficult for him.In 2012 they had Wiggins,Froome,Rogers,Porte,Knees,Eisel,Cavendish,Boasson Hagen and Siutsou.This year they’ve lost Cav,Eisel,Rogers,Knees and replaced them with Kiryienka,Kennaugh,Lopez and Stannard.
This leaves them a bit short in the climbing stakes,especially as Movistar have Valverde,Quintana,Rui Costa and Amador.They are also lacking an experienced road captain who can guide them to safety in the frantic first week.
So not only is Froome fighting against history but he has to do it with a slightly weaker team.Whatever happens it will be fun watching!