Routes for the 2015 Tour de France and Giro d'Italia may well be public but while riders have begun speculating as to their preferred targets, Team Sky's Rod Ellingworth has confirmed that the British team are yet to establish the nature of their objectives.
"The Tour is always a big goal and you can't get away from that, and we want to take the best team to the race," Ellingworth told Cyclingnews.
"I know a lot of teams like to get in quite early with their plans but we've given our riders a bit of a break and then we'll start to plan the season a little later on, but at the end of the day the team will want to go to the Tour de France and perform as best as possible."
Last week Team Sky held their annual post-season debrief, choosing not to attend the Tour route presentation. The retreat to the English coast gave the squad - including their new signings for 2015 – the chance to review this year's campaign and although there have been tentative talks within the squad as to next year's plans, the coaching staff and riders have yet to finalise a number of possible schedules.
Ellingworth has not sat down with Froome to discuss the rider's options but admits that the team will look to send the strongest possible squad to the Tour de France.
"We've looked at lots of things so far in terms of how we race and what we'll target next year but no decisions have been made. There are lots of ideas on the table at the moment and we're deciding on what we want to do. We want to go to the Tour and try our best to win the race, and it's about putting the best team on the line. So it's hard for any rider to say what they're doing at the minute."
This year Team Sky focused on defending their Tour de France crown. They came up short with Froome crashing out in the first week and Richie Porte unable to mount a serious challenge after he picked up an illness in the second week. The team bounced back at the Vuelta with Froome capturing second place behind winner Alberto Contador.
For 2015 the team have secured the services of a number of grand tour riders including Nicolas Roche and Leopold Konig, the latter finishing inside the Tour top ten at the first time of asking. The new recruits may give the team more options in Grand Tour GC battles but the squad are likely to keep their cards close to their chest for the next few weeks.
"It's easy to say we're targeting these races but the Tour, the Giro, and the Vuelta are hard to win. We want to give guys like Leo and the other guys chances to race, and we'll find our pattern and rhythm eventually but we're not going to rush that."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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