Ex-pro Daniel Lloyd made his debut as a directeur sportif on Sunday during the first stage of a storm-lashed Tour of Britain.
The 33-year-old who rode the last six editions of the British tour before retiring in November 2012 is directing domestic Continental squad IG-Sigma Sport.
He said small six-man teams would made the race hard to control but suggested Team Sky, who have stated their intention of chasing victory with Bradley Wiggins could have the firepower to dictate the race.
At the start in Peebles, Lloyd said: “Over the last few years you just look at Team Sky who can control it despite never having won it."
“Everyone looks to them first to see what they’re doing and this year they’re probably more motivated and want to do something with Brad by the looks of it.”
He said the GC race would probably be determined by a small group going up the road during one stage.
“It is a difficult one to predict. Six-man teams make it much harder to control, there are a couple of long stages and obviously the weather’s pretty shit as well. I don’t think it’ll happen today but one day you might get a group of 15 go down the road like you normally do and that’ll be the GC done.
Lloyd said mass media race coverage made it a crucial event for the local UK teams such as IG Sigma Sport, Madison-Genesis and Team Raleigh who are competing with WorldTour heavyweights such as Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Cannondale.
This race is global with Wiggins, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) riding it – and it’s live on TV... It’s a great opportunity for every rider on a small team to impress in front of the right people and everyone at home.
“Most of the UK teams don’t have a GC rider, so everyday it's going to be crucial to get into a break,” he said.
Lloyd said he was slightly nervous ahead of taking on the DS mantle but said the second car in made it a fairly soft introduction.
“It’s not like I’m jumping straight in with Omega Pharma-QuickStep or Sky as a sports director,” he said. “There are no radios anyway so effectively you’re kind of a chauffeur anyway during the race.”
Lloyd’s pro career spanned a decade and he built a reputation as a solid domestique. His 2009 season riding for the the Cervelo Test Team in 2009 was arguably the high point of his career. He helped Carlos Sastre to third in Giro d’Italia and finished fourth in the Tour of Qatar and second in the British National Championships.
Lloyd announced his retirement in late 2012 and has kept a high profile in the sport through his role as a TV presenter and pundit.
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Sam started as a trainee reporter on daily newspapers in the UK before moving to South Africa where he contributed to national cycling magazine Ride for three years. After moving back to the UK he joined Procycling as a staff writer in November 2010.
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