Dream Start For Team Sky

A dream start for Team Sky in the Tour Down Under last week which saw them pick up 3 wins, with Greg Henderson getting placed 3rd overall. Columbia's Andre Greipel picked up first.

I like the first races of the season as it makes me feel better about myself seeing that the pros look a bit bulgy around the hips in the jerseys. I think Cadel Evans ate all the pies personally!!

It was great to see a British team get off to such a great start. You can say all you like about the money involved, the huge experience from Dave Brailsford and co behind the scenes, but for a team to train together for only a few months and get results like that is great.

It shows to me why teams like Caisse D' Epargne are loosing their main sponsors in the next year, they are simply not moving with the pace of the sport. Caisse D' Epargne got bogged down with numerous doping scandals, the recent being with Valverde, this is now old school and punters want to see clean, competitive racing. Look at the teams attracting the big name sponsors - Sky, BMC, Radioshack, HTC-Columbia, Garmin - clean, explosive, edgy teams, who aren't frightened to get on the front and fight for wins.

Saying that, I was surprised to hear that Saxo Bank are dropping their sponsorship which is strange considering the publicity they get from the Schlecks and Cancellara. They stated the sponsorship wasn't reaching it's marketing goals, perhaps the credit crunch hurt them too much?

The stand out for me for the Tour Down Under was Russell Downing. In the final KMs he was always first to hit the front of the train, and the power he provided was just incredible - simply blowing the other teams out of the water. To see him come from racing in the UK to the international pro peloton and pull off a performance like that is heartwarming. Rumours have it that due to the bad weather he had been training solidly on the turbo with the heating cranked up!

I also thought Ben Swift was pretty solid, after a tricky move from Katusha is was good to see him settled and amazing calmness in the final 100 metres leading out Henderson & Chris Sutton.

The next notable race will be the Tour of Qatar which will see Bradley Wiggins' debut for Team Sky, although Columbia's Mark Cavendish won't be there due to some 'teething' trouble...literally.

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