Philippa York: Silence isn't golden for Ineos' Tour de France failure

Ineos Grenadiers at the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

A lesson many dominating characters learn the hard way is that despite the importance of winning if you want to be truly loved by fans then it is important to be gracious in defeat. It was something which even five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault learned, or at least pretended to, but then at least he understood there was an effort to be made. Begrudgingly or not.

If it's a trait which even the most viciously competitive of characters can eventually come around to then you would think that those known for saying they are going to be open, transparent, and doing things in a modern way would have embraced the idea from the very start. One might phrase it as a communication strategy that shapes the narrative, but let's not be condescending towards Dave Brailsford and his Ineos team.

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Philippa York

Philippa York is a long-standing Cyclingnews contributor, providing expert racing analysis. As one of the early British racers to take the plunge and relocate to France with the famed ACBB club in the 1980's, she was the inspiration for a generation of racing cyclists – and cycling fans – from the UK.

The Glaswegian gained a contract with Peugeot in 1980, making her Tour de France debut in 1983 and taking a solo win in Bagnères-de-Luchon in the Pyrenees, the mountain range which would prove a happy hunting ground throughout her Tour career. 

The following year's race would prove to be one of her finest seasons, becoming the first rider from the UK to win the polka dot jersey at the Tour, whilst also becoming Britain's highest-ever placed GC finisher with 4th spot. 

She finished runner-up at the Vuelta a España in 1985 and 1986, to Pedro Delgado and Álvaro Pino respectively, and at the Giro d'Italia in 1987. Stage race victories include the Volta a Catalunya (1985), Tour of Britain (1989) and Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (1990). York retired from professional cycling as reigning British champion following the collapse of Le Groupement in 1995.