Australia’s Orica-GreenEdge team enjoyed a fruitful spring, but found the Tour de France to be a different beast. If it keeps going along the same path, fighting but falling short, the team will be empty-handed when the race ends in Paris on Sunday.

“Does success mean coming away with a win?” General Manager Shayne Bannan said to Cycling Weekly. “Yeah, a win would be really nice, but I think, success is really just throwing everything at it and hopefully getting a good result.”

Bannan began the team along with businessman Gerry Ryan and saw it to its debut this season. They have nothing to be ashamed about seven months into their first season.

Simon Gerrans won the first stage race of the year – and on home ground – in the Tour Down Under. He went on to win the Milan-San Remo classic. Matt Goss helped the team to a time trial win in Tirreno-Adriatico and took a stage win in its first three-week tour, the Giro d’Italia. Michael Albasini won the Tour of Catalonia and Luke Durbridge won the Critérium du Dauphiné prologue ahead of Bradley Wiggins.

Those successes and a stated aims of stage victories and the green jersey placed high expectations on Orica in the Tour. Sky had the same issue in 2010, when it debuted to win the Tour with Wiggins. It came way with zero wins and 24th place for Wiggins.

“The contrast there is that we did come in with GC ambitions,” Brailsford told Cycling Weekly. “I stand by that really. I think we are where we are now because we set out on that route. We are now in our third year, in a situation where…”

He recalls the team’s two podium places last year in the Vuelta a España with Wiggins and Chris Froome, the string of stage race wins this year with Wiggins – Paris-Nice, Romandy and Dauphiné.

“In our first year, we were a long way off that, but you have to go through that learning to get where you want to be.”

Orica’s Matt Goss led Mark Cavendish to wins in HTC-Highroad before they went their separate ways this year. Yesterday, he placed second to Cavendish, but his frustration is showing.

On the hot stage to Pau on Monday, he and Orica looked to Lotto-Belisol to lead the group and pull back the escape. It was a stand off, both teams lost, but Lotto at least already had three stage wins in the bag with André Greipel. Plus, it is protecting Jurgen Van den Broeck, who sits in the GC’s top five.

“In the beginning they did work to have a field sprint, but they were beaten by [Peter] Sagan, by André, by Cavendish,” Lotto’s general manager, Marc Sergeant told Cycling Weekly. “[Goss] was always hanging around, not really close. I always say in the first days of the Tour it’s important to win one, because the otherwise the pressure is on you.”

Wiggins cracked in Ax 3 Domaines in 2010. After the stage, he said, “I am f**ked. It is as simple as that… I just haven’t got it, [it's] disappointing.” The last two years made a huge difference for him. Before the critics judge, they should also give Orica its time.

Tour de France 2012: Latest news



Sky’s quick exit strategy from the Tour



Wiggins and Froome explain Tour stage 17 final climb debate



Liquigas hopes Tour success could help find sponsor



Froome: Nibali’s attacks weren’t going anywhere



Wiggins’ Tour de France training



Voigt tries to carry on as RadioShack’s future seems in doubt



Frank Schleck positive for banned substance at Tour



Rest day review (July 17)



Defending Tour champ Evans has work to do in Pyrenees



Sprinters’ teams unwilling to work on stage 15



Evans suffers multiple punctures after Tour tack attack



Froome not winning this year’s Tour is ‘very great sacrifice’



Frank Schleck criticises ‘boring’ Tour de France


Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list



Tour 2012: Who will win?



Tour de France 2012 start list and withdrawals



Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage 18: Cavendish wins Tour stage 18 with irresistible sprint

Stage 17: Wiggins step closer to Paris as Valverde wins stage

Stage 16: Voeckler the Pyrenean king as he wins in Bagneres de Luchon

Stage 15: Fedrigo wins, day off for peloton

Stage 14: Sanchez solos to Foix victory to save Rabobank’s Tour

Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage

Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last

Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back

Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs



Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles



Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials



CW’s Tour de France podcasts



Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs



Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries



Stage 18 by Graham Watson



Stage 17 by Graham Watson



Stage 16 by Graham Watson



Stage 15 by Graham Watson



Stage 14 by Graham Watson



Stage 13 by Graham Watson



Stage 12 by Graham Watson



Stage 11 by Graham Watson



Stage 10 by Graham Watson



Stage nine by Graham Watson



Stage eight by Graham Watson



Stage seven by Graham Watson



Stage six by Graham Watson



Stage five by Graham Watson



Stage four by Graham Watson



Stage three by Graham Watson



Stage two by Andy Jones



Stage two by Graham Watson



Stage one by Graham Watson



Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones



Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler



Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson



Tour de France 2012: Team presentation



Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage



Stage 17 live coverage



Stage 16 live coverage



Stage 12 live coverage



Stage 11 live coverage



Stage 10 live coverage



Stage nine live coverage



Stage six live coverage



Stage five live coverage



Stage four live coverage



Stage three live coverage



Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish



Brief history of the Tour de France



Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever