Sky’s Boswell keeps climbing

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The latest news chez Sky, among other, higher profile, star updates, is that American Ian Boswell will be supporting Chris Froome in his Tour de France tune-up, the Dauphiné.

The is just another sign that Boswell, still just 24 years of age, is moving up the Sky Hierarchy. Many have tried, plenty have failed in that quest.

This is not an easy thing to do. Take two of Boswell’s talented counterparts. Josh Edmondson put in two years at Sky, was not offered a new contract, and now finds himself down two notches (and happier) riding for An Post-Chain Reaction.

Meanwhile top climber Joe Dombrowski, Boswell’s friend, former Nice, France rental roommate, former Bontrager Trek D-squad alum, had trouble solving a circulation problem in his left leg. After two years of stalled progress, he signed with Cannondale-Garmin.

One of the sweet highlights of the Mount Baldy stage was watching these two tackling the climb together, Boswell sitting on Dombrowski’s wheel as his captain Henao was up the road.

This year Boswell is riding his third year at Sky and that in itself is a big achievement. He’s holding his own, gaining strength and confidence and higher placings and yes, he will be at the Dauphine. Chapeau, dawg.

We had a chance to watch Boswell for a day or two at the Tour of California. It’s not much to go on but enough to give us the sense that he’s more mature, has a more bedrock sense of his talent, his role and place in the squad.

On a more essential level, he’s only gotten better at his yearly California role as barista for the Sky Rapha mobile cafe. His hands are steady, he doesn’t get flustered with obnoxious journalists desperate for a caffeine walk up call and he delivers a mean espresso. He is, as the cycling cliche goes, an all-rounder.

Working the Rapha coffee deck

Working the Rapha coffee deck

Barista proficiency alone will raise his profile when Sky management plots Boswell’s athletic trajectory and marginal gains. The espresso metric is not without its significance. While performance director Tim Kerrison may have difficulty assigning an exact numerical value to a well-made coffee shot, we’re sure they’ll find an analytic.

There was also the ease with which Boswell greeted old friends and interacted with his Sky teammates, who were all focused on getting Sergio Henao a GC victory after delivering Bradley Wiggins to the top spot last year. In short, Boswell looks comfortable in his skin.

After the Dauphiné, the big goal will be the next massive step up in the progression: a grand tour ride. Hopefully we will see Boswell in the Vuelta a Espana and if we’re double lucky, he’ll be joined by his former teammate Mr. Dombrowski.

The Vuelta should be so lucky.

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