Long shifts pulling on the front of the bunch have become part and parcel of riding for Team Sky in recent years as they chase stage racing success across the globe. Already this year, Richie Porte has finished fourth at the Tour Down Under, Chris Froome won the Tour of Oman and Geraint Thomas wore the yellow jersey at Paris-Nice.
But when injury ruled Thomas out of the final stage of Paris-Nice, and illness forced Porte to withdraw from Tirreno-Adriatico, Sky’s ever-willing domestiques took full advantage of their new-found freedom.
In France, Xabier Zandio joined the final day’s large break ensuring the black and blue jersey got some rare time up the road, rather than just lined out in the bunch before David Lopez made a late, but ultimately unsuccessful, bid for success.
And at Tirreno it was Peter Kennaugh who seized his opportunity to attack. The combined engines of Steve Marabito (BMC Racing), Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) and Kennaugh saw the quarter stay out front until the start of the final circuit. They may not have the freedom to attack too often, but there is clearly no shortage of Team Sky riders willing and able when the chance arises.