Cycling: Sky on a high after Sutton's sprint

British team continue their successful start with another one-two finish

Team Sky concluded their hugely successful first week in the international peloton exactly as they had started it – with another top two places in a bunch sprint, this time in the final stage of the Tour Down Under (TDU) in Adelaide yesterday.

The win went to the Australian sprinter Chris Sutton, and second across the line was New Zealander and team-mate Greg Henderson, the former track world champion who had opened up Sky's victory account exactly a week before in the Cancer Council Helpline Classic one-day race.

Just to add to Sky's good fortune, Henderson's second place in the TDU's final sprint earned him enough bonus seconds to propel him into third spot overall behind the HTC-Columbia sprinter Andre Greipel and Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez.

For a new team like Sky to have such a major impact in their first races is by no means unprecedented – just last year the Russian squad Katusha won two of their three initial events. What makes Sky's achievements exceptional, though, is that unlike Katusha the British success has come in a high-profile race of the calibre of the Tour Down Under, which is the first event in cycling's top league, the ProTour. This year, the TDU has also had an exceptionally high-quality field, including riders such as the seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and reigning world champion Cadel Evans.

"We came here with the objective of a stage win, but to do that and take a third place overall exceeds my expectations," said the team principal, Dave Brailsford. "We've done a lot of practising, training specifically for the bunch sprints, talking through the finales and watching them on video every evening during the race, too, and that back-room work by everybody paid off very well."

The team's next two races will be in the backlands of southern France early next month, when bad weather and poorly surfaced roads will make for far harsher racing conditions than in balmy Australia. But while Brailsford acknowledges the European events could be tougher, he also believes more sophisticated team infrastructure available closer to home – such as Sky's state-of-the-art team bus, vital for rider recovery and not available in Australia – could help Sky prevail again. "We've been working out of the back of a mini-van and with one team car here. That's not been easy, particularly when we've had days when it's been 40 degrees plus. Things like knowing exactly how dehydrated the riders are, which is really important, have been much harder to calculate because we don't have the same equipment that we'll have in Europe.

"What really gets your results, though, is team morale and working well together. And what we've got from here is a really solid foundation for the rest of the year."

News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor