Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford has said that the team could target all three Grand Tours in 2016. Sky won their third Tour de France with Chris Froome this year but with a strong new set of signings, including Mikel Landa and Beñat Intxausti, they may look to add the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana to that.
"Winning the big races intermittently is great, but ultimately, the challenge is to maintain that level of performance over a long period of time. That is what we intend to do and that is what is driving us forward," Brailsford told Skysports.com. "At a preliminary stage, I don't see why we can't go for all three Grand Tours and have a real good crack at that. It's very premature, but that would certainly be something that looks attractive next year."
The British outfit did mount general classification attempts at all of the three-week races this season, with varying success. Richie Porte was their leader for the Giro d’Italia, but was dealt a major blow when he was docked time for taking a wheel from Simon Clarke of Orica-GreenEdge. A crash then spelled the end of his challenge and he was forced to abandon. Froome put them back on track and put in a commanding performance to win his second Tour de France. The 30-year-old then broke his foot in a crash at the Vuelta a Espana.
As well as Grand Tours, the team have another elusive target set out for 2016. The team has yet to win one of the five major one-day races, despite a number of podium finishes. The addition of Michal Kwiatkowski to their established classics line-up of Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe should help them towards that.
"We still want a Monument. We have got to put a lot of thought and effort into that next year, for sure," said Brailsford. "We have already started debriefing and looking and planning for next year, and we want to make sure we get this year's off-season as nailed as we did last year.
"When you have had a relatively good season, you don't necessarily feel that same emotional urgency as you normally would, so it's important to drive that process forward nonetheless, and that is what we are very mindful of at the minute: making sure we get on it and we develop a performance strategy next year that every individual can be excited about."