In a Roubaix that saw Tom Boonen ride into the record books and Belgian folklore forever, Team Sky were left to contemplate what happened to their four riders who had a shot at the podium, but misfired completely.
“I’m at a loss. It’s unbelievable. Our preparation for this race was impeccable in every manner. We drilled the pace. We rode at a speed unseen in years. However, the mental game seems to elude us as as Quickstep’s preparation matches us pedal stroke for pedal stroke,” commented an exasperated David Brailsford.
“The idea of just sending Flecha up the road ‘to see what he could do’ and for Hayman to sit up for ‘reinforcements’ in the late stages of the race is just plain unacceptable. Our monstrous budget cannot withstand an absence of wins between Cav’s early season and the Tour,” continued Brailsford.
Team DS Servais Knaven was reflective and philosophical about it.
“What do you expect from a team that devotes 80% of its resources to two riders? I can’t turn water into wine like some people around this sport can,” stated Knaven.
After Sir Chris Hoy’s phenomenal performance earlier in the day, where he rode through the eye of the needle to secure Keirin gold, sources say Brailsford reached out to the knighted champion of the track. After considering his budgetary expenditures for a team psychologist, an army of doctors, a public relations firms, several marketing companies, and their operational staff, it seems Brailsford wants to reach out to familiar territory to turn around the listing oil tanker that is Team Sky.
When reached for comment early Monday morning in Australia, Sir Hoy was rather coy about the prospects of working with Team Sky.
“Look, while I appreciate the technical expenditures for the hordes of staff the team has assembled, some things just can’t be bought or taught. It has to be inherent in the athlete. Maybe if Team Sky spent more time recruiting the right types of lads, rather than trying to turn butter into cheesecake, the team might have more success. I’m not trying to slight David [Brailsford] because he’s a great chap. But at some point the suits need to be thrown off the ‘Juggernaut’ [team Sky bus nickname], the press needs to be ignored, the doctors told to shove off, and the boys urged go out and buy each other several hundred pints,” commented a chipper Hoy.
Team Sky classics veteran Juan Antonio Flecha, when approached with the news of Hoy’s potential work for the team, was encouraged by the development.
“Maybe Hoy can teach team management how to feel the sport from the heart. They’ve managed to suck the life out of everything they touch. You could tell by our efforts at Roubaix. When the soul is empty, the legs go through the motions,” stated Flecha.
Brailsford has called a press conference for Wednesday. Details have not be revealed by the team, but Sir Hoy speculation is running rampant.