A number of Team Sky riders have taken to Twitter to express public support for Sir Dave Brailsford. The backing comes following reports that a number of riders have discussed asking the team principal to stand down.
Earlier this week, an anonymous Team Sky rider told Cycling News that there was “concern” over the impact recent controversies may be having on the current season.
"With a team that is so focused on details, things are starting to slip through the cracks because people's attentions are elsewhere," he said.
"No one in the team, currently, is involved in this controversy other than Dave. What's it going to take for the team to get on with racing?"
Team Sky actually recorded a major win this weekend at Strade Bianche, but controversies over the Jiffy Bag delivered to Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine and the use of therapeutic use exemptions by Sir Bradley Wiggins ahead of key races are undoubtedly proving a distraction.
Several riders are said to have discussed whether Brailsford should step down.
In response to the news, Geraint Thomas tweeted:
It shouldn't even need saying, but we all back Dave B 100%!!! I've known him a long time and I wouldn't want anyone else leading @teamsky
— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) March 6, 2017
Luke Rowe retweeted that, saying: “Couldn't of [sic] said it better myself. I'm 100% behind Dave!”
Michal Kwiatkowski also went with: “100% behind Dave!”
Clearly a man who understands sporting rhetoric, Owain Doull offered: “110% behind Dave”
A number of other riders also retweeted Thomas or made similar comments. However, at the time of writing, these did not include Chris Froome.
Speaking in January, before a number of recent developments, Froome had offered only ambiguous support for Brailsford. Asked whether Sky’s team principal retained sufficient credibility to defend his riders during this year’s Tour de France, he replied: “That’s not for me to say.”
Froome also said he had seen little of Brailsford since the autumn, apart from at training camps. Asked whether he still retained faith in him, he answered: “Dave himself has put his hand up and said he has made mistakes. I think if you look at what Dave has actually done, the team he has put together, I think we’ve got a great group of guys with values in the right place.”