The Ashes on Bikes? Sky Vs OGE launches Monday (+ video)

#SkyvsOGE WorldTour teams set to go head to head... but they're not saying over what just yet; cycling's version of The Ashes?

by Simon_MacMichael   March 6, 2014  

SKYvsOGE

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.

8 user comments

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Wales does have a cricket team - it's the same one as the England team (it's the England and Wales Cricket Board who administer the team)...

posted by pjt201 [97 posts]
6th March 2014 - 16:36

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This is probably more a marketing ploy than anything else. Although there may be reason in the madness, a first and not so subtle attempt to develop a fan base and brand loyalty like football (UK & USA).

Cycling teams have a long way to go if that is what they do this and leverage cyclists pockets. whilst road racing is admittedly a team sport, traditionally we have followed particular cyclists we want to win in this or that event. Yes there are in some races team prizes and we do admire the efforts of teams and particular team members to get their man on the podium, but if the man doesn't have the form the efforts of the team are for nothing.

I could be and probably am wrong in my analysis and this is just no more than a piece of cycling fluff that makes it such a great sport. In that spirit here are some suggestions for them.

1. The best video to the sound track of the "ace of spades"

2. Bmx (or cyclocross) race in rider designed cycling costume points allotted for costume (judge Paul smith?) and racing but must complete race for costume points to count.

3. Language competition. One point per mention of the word stupendous two for the word aardvark in post race interviews, double points in pre race interviews. A minus point for the phrases "for sure" but plus on for using "bob on" instead.

I beginning to get silly so I'll stop

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
6th March 2014 - 17:08

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pjt201 wrote:
Wales does have a cricket team - it's the same one as the England team (it's the England and Wales Cricket Board who administer the team)...

Sorry, you're correct, our cricketing knowledge finished sometime pre-1997 when it was all still under the MCC Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7922 posts]
6th March 2014 - 17:20

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:

Sorry, you're correct, our cricketing knowledge finished sometime pre-1997 when it was all still under the MCC Wink

Ah, the MCC an organisation even more shadowy than the McQuaid/Verbruggen era UCI. I'm not sure how they still govern the laws of cricket given the ICC exist (although this probably isn't the right place to have that discussion!).

posted by pjt201 [97 posts]
6th March 2014 - 18:16

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Whatever this is all about.....C'MON SKY!!!

posted by mikefreer [17 posts]
6th March 2014 - 18:30

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Looks to me like they're bringing back Indoor League. Will they be reanimating Fred Trueman to host it...?

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posted by Him Up North [136 posts]
6th March 2014 - 19:48

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pjt201 wrote:
Ah, the MCC an organisation even more shadowy than the McQuaid/Verbruggen era UCI

Roger Knight (secretary of MCC at the time in question) taught me at school, and I got to know him beyond that by hanging around the Oval at Surrey CCC matches as a teen; I've also interviewed Pat McQuaid. I know which one I'd trust more...

Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7922 posts]
7th March 2014 - 1:49

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'team' mostly doesn't work in cycling because the team is 'trade' rather than 'regional'.

If you had Crown paints vs Sharp Electronics rather than L*verpool vs Man Utd, I doubt there'd be so much throwing of faeces or attacking of ambulances at the matches. Unless you had a particularly unhealthy liking of your calculator or (as above) satellite tv supplier.

posted by andyp [802 posts]
7th March 2014 - 9:50

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