Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford has praised his riders for "sticking to the plan" in executing a brilliant leadout and subsequent win in the Cancer Council Helpline Classic in Adelaide, Australia.
The team worked flawlessly in the closing laps to deliver Greg Henderson and Chris Sutton to the finish for a sensational one-two in the criterium that opens the Santos Tour Down Under week before the race starts on Tuesday.
Both men are accomplished track riders, as are the likes of Russell Downing and Ben Swift, who were instrumental in delivering their leader and Australian sprinter to the finish for the win. Brailsford explained that the lessons learnt by both staff and riders in the velodrome are vital to the success of the team's first outing/
"Technically, there's a lot you can take from the track and apply to the road - I think that today the plan was to take it to Columbia, we'd knew they'd come back at us and then we'll able to go at it again. Perfect," said Brailsford, who oversaw Great Britain's all-conquering performance at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"They [HTC-Columbia] knew that was coming - they knew that in everything we did during the week. We knew they'd come back at us and then we'd go at them again; there's so much you can take from the track in terms of tactics. We're pretty good at the track and the people who have doubted us, said we wouldn't know what we're doing... well, we're here and we mean business," he added.
It was an unveiled comment on observers who have criticised the British team for its recent slick presentation in London and attention to detail, not to mention the squad's healthy budget. There were suggestions that the team may revolve too heavily on marketing and spin, although the perfect strike rate after one race may be useful in quietening the critics.
"I think we know what we're doing... I think that there have been a lot of people saying we're all about hype and marketing and it's all razzamatazz and the rest of it, but we confident in the guys," said Brailsford. "They've trained hard, practiced leadouts and from the track we know what we're doing with sprinting."
While there's the temptation to begin looking at hypotheticals for the Tour Down Under based on today's result, Brailsford, directeur sportif Sean Yates and the seven-man roster are maintaining a level head and approaching the rest of the week with a simple approach.
"I think we should stick to the game plan, you've always got to stick to the plan and our plan was to come here and go through the process," said Brailsford. "That's what we were looking for - if you do that the results will come. We know that from our experience with the last 10 years and the Olympics," he added.
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