The past couple of weeks have been dominated by the sensational news that Sky have disclosed they’re pulling out of their sponsorship of the enigma that is Team Sky. The team are facing an uncertain future after media company Sky announced it will withdraw its backing at the end of 2019.
The pro scene is a world within a world about which I wish I knew more but it’s understandable that Sky have felt the need to distance themselves from the Team. With the most polarised riders of our generation being marred by scandal, Brad’s jiffy bag affair and Chris Froome’s salbutamol intake, it’s no wonder we’re left with a nasty aftertaste. C’mon, the problem is that being able to get away with it doesn’t make it right, and unfortunately mud sticks. Predictably, Sky insist the decision was simply part of a natural review of commercial partnerships following the recent £30bn takeover of the satellite broadcaster by US media giant Comcast.
What’s next, will the top boys jump ship, and who is going to throw that substantial amount of money at the team? The next 12 months will be fascinating with Dave Brailsford already having to make public assurances that the entire Team Sky roster and staff will be paid as normal throughout the 2019 season, and that if a new backer is not found for the 2020 season then they will be ‘looked after appropriately’. It’s hard not to be cynical.
On a positive I would like to congratulate Geraint Thomas on winning this year’s Sports Personality of the Year, only the inane would say he didn’t deserve it. His main competition a striker who runs around a pitch for 90 minutes a week and a glorified XBOX driver. Thomas cycled 3,351 km at an average speed of 25 km, conquering 26 mountains in the process, need I say more?!
Finally, with the chaos of Christmas retreating on the the horizon, why not fetch your bike from its premature hibernation and get out and explore, it is true, if you wrap up warm and wear suitable clothing, the fun and peace is endless.