The morning before stage 12 was dominated by the aftershocks from the previous stage when Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins defended his yellow jersey on the climb to La Toussuire. On paper, it was a successful stage for Wiggins and his Sky team. Time was gained on a number of rivals, including the defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC).
However, the stage brought up a potential spoke in the works when Chris Froome dropped his team leader, Wiggins, on the closing stages of the final climb. It was another indication of Froome's superior powers in the mountains and, despite waiting for Wiggins, Sky faced several questions relating to the team's hierarchy in the race.
Wiggins leads, with Froome now in second, 2:05 down, and at the team bus on Friday morning directeur sportif Sean Yates played down any talk of Froome assuming the mantle of team leader, emphasising that the team was in a ‘perfect position' and that gambling with the yellow jersey may not pay off.
"Our goal from the start has been to win the Tour. We're in the perfect position now," Yates said "We can't play the roulette, we need to be conservative and keep our cards in the right places.
"It's not the swashbuckling days of the '80s when Hinault was attacking left, right and centre."
In this video Yates talks about Sky's GC ambitions, how cycling has evolved since the 1980s and the commercialisation of the sport that has led to an affect on the tactics of racing.