TEAM SKY CAN RACE TACTICALLY, BUT THEY CHOOSE NOT TO
The boldest move in any bike race in 2018 was Chris Froome and Sky’s smash-andgrab on stage 19 of the Giro. The British team may be renowned and regularly berated for the onedimensional catenaccio tactics of their six Tour wins, but they showed their collective strength in a very different way at the Giro. They have often imposed their mountain train at the Tour to set up a Froome attack on the final climb – they did exactly the same, only midstage, on the Finestre. In doing so, they blew up the race and put Froome into the pink jersey. It was risky, but when you look at it logically, it was the only thing to do. Either they carried on as they were and Froome would definitely not win, or they tried this and Froome had maybe a five per cent chance of winning. Five per cent is better than zero, so they gave it a go. (Other riders might not have been so sanguine about risking everything, but other riders don’t have Froome’s palmarès.) It still shouldn’t have worked. Dumoulin wasted time trying to persuade his companions to help him chase, when he should have put his head down and made the race into a man-against-man challenge; the evidence of the Giro leading up to that point was that he was the stronger rider. The others would have attacked him on the final climb (as they did anyway), but they weren’t close enough on GC to threaten Dumoulin’s position. But Froome just did enough. He won and Dumoulin lost, in equal parts, and Sky showed that they are capable of great tactical boldness, they just choose not to use it.
Elissonde pulls over and Froome attacks on stage 19 of the Giro