"With six stage wins and number 1 and 2 on the podium at the 2012 Tour de France, Team Sky grabbed the attention of all other cycling teams, and the world. Then, just over a week later Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome thrust British Cycling into that spotlight as well when they took gold and bronze at the Olympics in the men's time trial."
The trainingpeaks blog has an article about the success of Team Sky and British Cycling. The article includes some of the elements such as recruitment to and from the track, the incredible resources that the teams have access to with the Sky sponsorship and government funding. While the much publicised approach of "marginal gains" is lauded in this article and others as a contributor to this success, these methods are by no means unique in the world of sports. However cycling has often been practised in traditional ways, and one of the elements that has come through with Britsh Cycling and Team Sky is a move towards a coached environment for the riders. Programmes in cycling are traditionally race led, e.g. racing into form, vs training led, and have Sky have taken this preparation-focused approach with Wiggans, for example racing fewer races than in the past, and more focus on specific preparation such as altitude training and weight manipulation. Rider coaches are actually something relatively new in cycling, vs team manager led, and is an important, albeit basic change of approach on the invidiualising preparation.
While it's interesting and sells well to focus on the technologic approach, good coaching and leadership is really at the heart of Team Sky's success and a reminder to do the basics well and success will follow.
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