Team Sky, the home of current Tour de France champion Chris Froome, has switched from sports sedan to family mini-van for the 2016 season.
In place of the sleek Jaguars, the team will now travel in the new Ford Galaxy mini-van. The change was apparently requested by Froome who hopes to bring his young young Kellan along for some of the WorldTour races.
“People on the outside have said Sky is cold, all business but we’re a family, really,” said Colin Fibjoke, head of logistics for the British squad. “The Jaguars were cool but the Galaxy gives us the opportunity to bring friends and family along — plus a mechanic and extra wheel-sets.”
With seating for seven and a powerful new 210 PS bi-turbo 2.0-litre TDCi diesel, the Galaxy should prove a versatile vehicle as Froome and company begin the steady countdown to his Tour de France defense.
In particular, each Galaxy will be equipped with a high end safety seat for infants. “Sky is partnering with Recaro to customize their ProRide car seat in Sky black and blue.” said Fibjoke. “We went with a forward facing model so Kellan can have a good view of his father dropping Quintana in the mountains.”
While team principle Sir David Branford is heavily involved in all performance decisions at Team Sky, it was apparently Froome’s wife Michelle who pushed for the Galaxy mini-van and custom Sky infant seats. “Yeah, we were gonna stick with Jaguar but Michelle said it just wasn’t going to work for Kellan,” said Fibjoke. “She was adamant that a roomier interior with plenty of room for baby stuff was essential. So wheels and tools in the back, Kellan up front.”
The mini-van innovation is another first for the pioneering British squad. Last year they experimented with an individual motorhome for Giro d’Italia captain Richie Porte in hopes of improving his recovery at night. Those attempts were ultimately thwarted by the UCI, which deemed the motorhome an unfair advantage.
It’s unlikely that the UCI will have a problem with the family mini-vans although there is a competitive advantage to be gained. “If Chris is there and he knows Michelle and Kellan are right there with him, well, that’s all the motivation he needs, right? I see this as a trend and don’t be surprised if Quintana and Movistar have a mini-van for his family next year,” said Fibjoke.