What are Team Sky and Orica-GreenEdge cooking up? It’s a question that has many cycling fans on Twitter abuzz following a series of teasers in recent days about a looming “battle” between the two WorldTour teams. Going under the hashtag #SKYvsOGE, a graphic and teaser video have already been posted to social media - but full details will only be announced next Monday 10 March.
There’s a rich heritage of sporting rivalry between teams from Great Britain and those from Down Under, of course – last year’s British & Irish Lions Tour, and the recent Ashes* series, being cases in point. Bragging rights were shared, the Aussies losing the former but getting a 5-0 whitewash in the latter.
So could this be the start of some kind of Ashes-style rivalry on two wheels?
This morning, a teaser video was posted to YouTube showing members of the two teams engaging in… well, we’re not quite sure what, exactly, but they seem to be having a lot of fun at it, apart from Geraint Thomas at the end.
In its description of the video, Orica-Green Edge says: “Get ready to put the gloves on as competition between Team Sky and ORICA-GreenEDGE kicks off on March 10. The Death Star is going down people.”
That’s a reference to the nickname of Sky’s team bus, although given the scenes at Stage 1 of last year’s Tour de France when Orica Green-Edge’s one got wedged under the finish line gantry, you could say that people in glass, er, buses shouldn’t throw stones…
More to follow on Monday, but in the meantime if you have any thoughts or suggestions on the kind of friendly competition the two teams could engage in, let us know in the comments.
* Yes, we know that’s commonly referred to as England vs Australia, but since 1997 the "England" team has come under the England & Wales Cricket Board, and before 1992, then adminstered by the MCC, it also included Scotland for international cricket purposes. Many prominent players from both Wales and Scotland have represented "England." Douglas Jardine, the England captain in the most infamous Ashes series of all, the Bodyline tour of 1932/33, was born to Scottish parents, as was ex-skipper Tony Grieg, and Scot Mike Denness also captained an Ashes side. Robert Croft, Geraint Jones and Tony Lewis are among leading Welsh cricketers to have played for England against Australia.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.