Team Sky may be on the verge of making history with Britain’s first ever overall Tour de France victory, but regardless of what happens between now and Paris, there will apparently be no elaborate team celebrations in the French capital.

“This year it’s a little bit tricky with the Olympics,” noted Sky’s Head of Operations Carsten Jeppesen. “Normally teams have a get together: a party or dinner. But some of our athletes will have to fly to the UK that evening.”

The Olympic road race takes place just six days after the Tour finishes on Sunday and most national squads want their riders to be joining them as soon as possible.

Although David Millar told us he duly plans to spend Sunday night celebrating the end of the Tour with his Garmin-Sharp team, Sky’s three Tour riders on the British Olympic road team – Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish – are expected to be flown to the British base in Surrey on a private jet that night.

“What we have said is we want all the riders to be in the hotel on the UK side by midnight at the latest” said Jeppesen. “You gain an hour going back to UK time but even then the latest they’ll have to leave [central Paris] by is ten o’clock or nine thirty.”

The rapid evacuation to the UK is further complicated by the fact that numerous Sky riders will be riding for different national teams.

Edvald Boasson Hagen for instance will be heading straight from the Tour to Norway’s Olympic camp. Bernard Eisel is on the Austrian team and Michael Rogers will be with the Australians. It’s not like they can have a little celebration together when they get there.

“We hope if we pull this one off, we’ll have time to have a quick dinner together with the whole team,” said Jeppersen. “We’ve been on the road for months together and been working on this project for so long it’ll be a shame just to say ‘see you guys’.

“But obviously the Olympics is a big goal for a lot of the athletes and also the team. Well have to have a bigger delayed party later in the year.”

Sky have more riders not at the Tour who will also be Olympic bound.

Although responsibility for the welfare and logistics of all Olympic riders fall to their respective national federations (the private flight from Paris is strictly speaking a British team concern), Sky will help their riders out where they can.

“We have the GB team to think about, the Norwegian team, the Austrian, Colombian, Australian teams,” said Jeppesen. “So we just decided that instead of our riders having to travel with bike bags etc, we’ll drive one of our trucks over to the Olympics too.

“That way their equipment will be there for them. If they need some nutrition bars or gels, they can get what they are used to.”

It’s not just getting out of Paris where Sky will be making dramatic departures.

After today’s Tour stage to Brive, all the team’s riders are being whisked up north for tomorrow’s time trial by helicopter.

Tour de France 2012: Latest news



Wiggins and Froome explain Tour stage 17 final climb debate



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 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 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

  • Jane Macleod

    I read the update on the tour de France. The last paragraph should read: up north by helicopter for tomorrow’s time trial not up north for tomorrows time trial by hellcopter. They are not doing the time trial by helicopter!

  • JD

    There’s a thought – the outcome of the Olympic Road Race could be decided by the length of the Tour de France parties.