Maybe this is what happens when a team isn’t robotic.
After the Team Sky debacle at the Tour de France, head honcho David Brailsford promised season two would be different. They’d avoid what he called an “isolated and robotic” approach.
So far, it’s working.
Yesterday, Sky took the second and third spot in Het Nieuwsblad with Juan Antonio Flecha and Matthew Hayman — Flecha missed first place in a battle of bike throws decided by centimeters.
Today in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Sky again put in a dominating performance with Australian Chris Sutton winning the field sprint against Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ) and André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto).
“I’ve won a stage in the Tour Down Under but for me this is pretty big. I’ve always wanted to win one of the classics and it’s a nice way to start with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne,” said Sutton.
A big win and maybe even cooler than the video of this 8 year old kid krumpin’ hella tight.
Tyler Farrar (Garmin Cervelo) fell just short of the podium even with the KBK secrets whispered to him by their new Classics Advisor. “We received some tips and tricks from Peter Van Petegem but I can’t tell those to you. I have to keep our secrets,” said Farrar.
Fourth is a good result but the real trick is first. “It was my mistake. CJ didn’t make any big moves he just came around Boasson Hagen and I would have done the same thing,” said Farrar. “I just took the wrong line in the end but every now and then you make a mistake.”
Meanwhile Andre Greipel was busy griping about train issues. “There was no lead-out,” Greipel told Cyclingnews. “”I had to go from 800 metres to 300 metres on my own to get to the front again. Then I nearly got it but I was just unlucky,” said the G-man.
- As far as the breakaway went, it went. Four men did their damnedest to beat the peloton into Kuurne. Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad), Alessandro Proni (Acqua & Sapone), Sébastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun) held a slim lead until the closing kilometers.
With 6km remaining it was Mr. Engoulvent who took his shot at fame and glory and cash and podium girls. That was also the moment when Tom Boonen (Quick Step) decided to stop dithering.
Yesterday he admitted he should have made his move sooner in Het Nieuwsblad. So Tornado Tom bridged to the Frenchman with 5km left in today’s race. Team Sky had other, better, faster plans and nailed back the two men with 2k to go.
“Go” was the operative word, said loud and clear. “The boys were just incredible in the last 10 kilometres. I told the guys I was up for it. I was pretty confident in myself and the team put all their confidence in me. I just yelled: ‘Go!’ at 500 metres out,” said Suttton. “I then waited and waited. But at 200 metres I saw someone come up and knew I had to go. I then just went full gas.”
It was a terrific win for Sutton and Sky and all fans of no-radio, non-robotic racing. As teammate Geraint Thomas tweeted, “Not a bad weekend guys. Quality riding by the lads!”