Team Sky: A meteoric rise to success in just two years


Sunday 22 July 2012 18:23

Team Sky launched in 2010 with the ambition of winning the Tour de France with a British rider within five years. Bradley Wiggins has achieved it in three.

Here Matt McGeehan charts the squad from their formation.

2007: July 13 - On the 40th anniversary of the death of Tom Simpson, Britain's first Tour de France leader, and with Wiggins on a day-long solo break in his second Tour, British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford reveals to a small group of British journalists his wish to create a Tour team.

2008: June - Brailsford talks at a Sports Journalists' Association lunch and announces publicly his vision for a British-sponsored, British-run professional team to compete at the Tour.

2009: February - Satellite broadcaster BSkyB announce Team Sky, managed by Brailsford with three stated aims: create the first British winner of the Tour de France within five years; inspire people of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes, through the team's positive profile, attitude and success; add further support to competitive cycling in Great Britain.

September - The first six riders, all Britons, to join Team Sky are named: Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Russell Downing, Ian Stannard and Peter Kennaugh.

December - Feverish speculation over Wiggins, who finished fourth in the Tour, joining comes to an end after the three-time Olympic champion's move from Team Garmin-Transitions is confirmed. Wiggins becomes the 25th rider and will be the undisputed team leader.

2010: January 4 - On the day of Team Sky's official launch in London, the signing of Ben Swift is confirmed to complete the squad of 26 for the season.

January 24 - Chris Sutton wins stage six of the Tour Down Under for Team Sky's first UCI ProTour win.

May - Team Sky make their Grand Tour debut at the Giro d'Italia. Wiggins wins the opening time-trial in Amsterdam to become the second Briton to don the race leader's pink jersey. It secures Team Sky's first Grand Tour stage victory at the first attempt.

July - Wiggins finishes 24th in Team Sky's debut Tour de France after struggling in the mountains. The result is updated to 23rd when Alberto Contador was stripped of the title for a doping offence.

September - Team Sky are struck by tragedy as carer Txema Gonzalez dies following a bacterial infection. The squad opt to withdraw from the Vuelta a Espana as a result.

October - At the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Mark Cavendish expresses unhappiness with his HTC-Highroad team, heightening speculation the prolific winner is set for a transfer to Team Sky.

2011: May - Thomas wins Bayern-Rundfahrt stage race in Germany.

June - Wiggins claims biggest victory of road career in traditional Tour warm-up the Criterium du Dauphine.

July 7 - Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen wins stage six of the Tour for Team Sky's first victory in the sport's most prestigious race.

July 8 - Wiggins crashes out with a fractured collarbone.

July 20 - A second stage win for Boasson Hagen, soloing to victory in Pinerolo.

September - Froome finishes second in the Vuelta, one place ahead of Wiggins, as two Britons make a Grand Tour podium for the first time. The duo then help Cavendish become world road race champion.

October - Cavendish ends speculation over his future by joining Team Sky for the 2012 season and beyond.

2012: March - Wiggins wins the Paris-Nice stage race, completing victory with a win on stage eight.

April - Wiggins triumphs in Tour de Romandie, winning stages one and five.

May - Cavendish wins three stages of the Giro, but misses out on the red jersey - and winning the points classification at all three Grand Tours - by one point.

June - Wiggins successfully defends his Criterium du Dauphine title and wins the stage four time-trial for an unprecedented series of results to be installed as Tour favourite. Cavendish wins Ster ZLM Toer, his first general classification stage race success.

July 2 - Cavendish wins his 21st Tour stage in Tournai, Belgium, his first for Team Sky, first as world champion and first outside of France.

July 7 - Froome wins stage seven of the Tour as Wiggins claims the race leader's yellow jersey, becoming the fifth Briton to don the maillot jaune.

July 9 - Wiggins and Froome complete a one-two in the stage nine time-trial as the Londoner enhances his advantage in the race lead.

July 12 - A minor chink in Team Sky's armour comes when Wiggins does not go with an attack from Froome, leading some to suggest the younger domestique was stronger in the mountains and should be Tour leader.

July 18 - On the toughest mountain day of the 2012 Tour, Team Sky's high tempo reduces their rivals, with defending champion Cadel Evans falling away.

July 19 - With able support from Froome, Wiggins enhances his hold on the maillot jaune as third-placed Vincenzo Nibali slips back.

July 21 - Wiggins wins the 19th stage to stand on the verge of the becoming the first British winner of the Tour, in its 99th edition, thereby fulfilling Team Sky's stated aim two years ahead of target.

July 22 - Wiggins confirmed as winner of the Tour de France.


Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments