Kick-starting a new feature for 2017 - we take a look at the team's best performances and ask you, the fans, to vote for our Rider of the Month.
And this year we’re asking our fans to vote for their Rider of the Month. Who stood out to you as the campaign got underway?
VOTING NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO JANUARY'S RIDER OF THE MONTH: DANNY VAN POPPEL.
Danny van Poppel
The Dutchman’s results in the sprint stages at the Tour Down Under read second, fourth, third, and fourth, before he picked up another second place at Race Melbourne. It’s a signifier of increased consistency in the sprinter’s armoury as the 23 year old starts to come of age. That work led to a great start to February, but January was a strong month in of itself for DVP.
Like any new rider, Jon Dibben was doubtless keen to make an impact in his first race for the team, and he did just that at Challenge Mallorca. With his new team-mates riding for him on day one he bagged an impressive sixth in the sprint, then two days later he embarked on an adventurous late break with Christian Knees, lighting up the third day of action. It was an impressive start from the neo-pro, who is looking to knuckle down on the road in 2017 after spending 2016 dovetailing both road and track programmes. He’s off to an encouraging start.
Kenny Elissonde was two hours into a training ride in the north west of Australia when coach Tim Kerrison rolled up alongside him in the support car. ‘Kenny,’ he said. ‘This isn’t a joke. You have to go to the airport!’ Owain Doull had been struck down with appendicitis and ruled out of the Tour Down Under, so it was over to Kenny to jump on a plane, fly to Adelaide, and step into the Welshman’s shoes. It meant a far earlier Team Sky debut than Kenny was anticipating, but he didn’t miss a beat, riding well in support of team leader Sergio Henao and doing his bit for sprinter Danny van Poppel. He then rode hard in the Cadel Evans Road Race, attacking inside the final 10km in an attempt to reduce the size of the bunch ahead of the finish. There’s lots more to come from the 25 year old this season.
Luke Rowe was disappointed after the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The Welshman told TeamSky.com: “It’s quite frustrating. I think I pretty much rode the perfect race and was in the right place at the right time. I felt I could have got a better result, but that’s bike racing. No excuses.” They are quotes typical of a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, but a strong fifth place finish in Geelong on the back of a typically commanding display as Danny van Poppel’s lead-out man at the Tour Down Under shows that Rowe is ready to hit the Classics campaign running.