Team Sky was built around Bradley Wiggins, who came on board after finishing fourth in the 2009 Tour, but in 2010 he suffered from bad form and in 2011 he fell and broke his collarbone in the stage from Le Mans to Châteauroux. It did not show the makings of a great Tour de France team in its first two participations, with its best overall performances being Thomas Löfkvist's 17th in 2010 and Rigoberto Urán's 24th in 2011.
Its maiden Tour in 2010 had got off to an auspicious start, though, with Geraint Thomas finishing second in the cobblestone stage in the Nord and rookie Edvald Boasson Hagen claiming third in the two following stages, foreshadowing the Norwegian's two stage wins in 2011, which saved Dave Brailsford from going home empty-handed a second time. However, the outcome radically changed in 2012, with a one-two in the final general classification with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, along with three stage victories by Mark Cavendish, who in the end felt too hemmed-in in a team set up mainly to win the yellow jersey. Before being knighted by the Queen of the United Kingdom, the multi-medal holder in track events struck the gong to start the Olympic Games in London, wearing a highly symbolic yellow jersey, one week after his Tour de France victory.
Froome took over as leader in 2013 and extended the team's dominance, winning more stage races than anyone else, with the sole exception of the 101th Tour de France, which started from Britain in no small part thanks to Team Sky's huge effort to promote cycling in the country. The defending champion had to withdraw after crashing in stages 4 and 5 and Richie Porte proved unable to fill his boots despite reaching the Alps in second place overall. There was no plan B for the British team that year, but it got back to its winning ways with Chris Froome's second triumph in 2015, which he followed up with a third in 2016 and a fourth in 2017. The Kenyan has since added the Vuelta and the Giro to his tally and finished third in the 2018 Tour de France, where he stood on the podium next to teammate Geraint Thomas, the third British rider to win the Tour de France in the span of six years.
Even Froome's hair-raising crash in the 2019 Tour did not stop the team, now known as Ineos, from claiming its seventh Tour de France in eight editions, this time with the whiz kid Egan Bernal, who became the first ever Colombian to win the Tour at the young age of 22. Geraint Thomas made it a one-two for the British outfit. The team that had an iron grip on the Tour de France in the 2010s got Froome back in action at the start of the 2020 season, but it also mourned the sudden death of its directeur sportif and peerless strategist Nicolas Portal. The Frenchman's successors will have their work cut out for them juggling the egos of the last three Tour champions in the 2020 Grande Boucle, where the squad will be racing as Ineos Grenadier.
- Final victories7
- Stages victories17
- Yellows Jerseys91
- Other races Won3
Overall wins: 7
- Bradley Wiggins in 2012
- Chris Froome in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017
- Geraint Thomas in 2018
- Egan Bernal in 2019
Stage wins: 17
- 2011: Edvald Boasson Hagen in Lisieux and Pinerolo
- 2012: Mark Cavendish in Tournai, Brive-la-Gaillarde and Paris, Chris Froome on La Planche des Belles Filles and Bradley Wiggins in Besançon and Chartres
- 2013: Chris Froome at Ax 3 Domaines, on Mont Ventoux and in Chorges
- 2015: Chris Froome in La Pierre-Saint-Martin
- 2016: Chris Froome in Bagnères-de-Luchon and Megève
- 2017: Geraint Thomas in Düsseldorf
- 2018: Geraint Thomas at La Rosière Espace San Bernardo and on the Alpe d'Huez
Secondary classification wins: 3
- 2015: Chris Froome (mountains classification)
- 2017: team classification
- 2019: Egan Bernal (best young rider)
Yellow jerseys: 91
- 2012: Bradley Wiggins, fourteen days
- 2013: Chris Froome, fourteen days
- 2015: Chris Froome, sixteen days
- 2016: Chris Froome, fourteen days
- 2017: Geraint Thomas, four days and Chris Froome, fifteen days
- 2018: Geraint Thomas, eleven days
- 2019: Egan Bernal, three days
A FIGURE 6:
the number of times a British rider has won the Tour de France (all since 2012).
9 July 2012: a year and a day after fracturing his collarbone on the road from Le Mans to Châteauroux, Bradley Wiggins pulls on the yellow jersey at the time trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon and keeps it until the end of the Tour.
21 July 2013: Chris Froome becomes the second Briton and the first rider from Africa (where he was born and raised) to win the Tour de France, adding symbolic weight to the 100th edition.
26 July 2019: Egan Bernal flies solo over the top of the Iseran, where times are taken for the stage due to a landslide blocking the descent to Tignes, where he pulls on the yellow jersey for the first time two days before becoming the first ever Colombian winner of the Tour de France.
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