First race, first win. You really can’t do better than that. Team Sky got off to the best possible start with first and second in the Cancer Council Helpline Classic, the opening event of the 2010 season.
It may only have been an hour-long crit in a park in Adelaide but the all-new GB squad took on and beat a ProTour-quality field and most importantly came out on top in an end of race scrap with HTC-Columbia, until now the undisputed winningest team on the planet.
Team Sky may be new to the road scene but of course this is the gang responsible for a decade of British track success. The transition has worked brilliantly and as boss man Dave Brailsford explained: “You’ve got to have a plan, and then the lads have to execute the plan. If it works, great. But if you don’t have a plan…”
It may sound simplistic, but it works. Team Sky should enjoy plenty more successes in Australia but they might not find things quite so easy in a couple of weeks’ time when they take on Mark Cavendish in the Tour of Qatar. It’ll be Columbia’s chance to get their own back – the Manx Missile doesn’t like to be beaten by anyone.
Cav’s speed versus Brailsford’s cunning, it’ll make for some great bike racing.
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly