Team Sky have spent the past few weeks embroiled in one of the biggest doping controversies the sport has seen since Lance Armstrong, and this morning, their on-road fate has ominously aligned with the team’s image. Sky are usually one of the best team time trial squads out there and they’ve taken TTT’s at multiple Grand Tours. However, this morning at the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, they finished 18th, a full 1:42 behind the winners.
The reason they got crammed into the toilet? Mysterious wheel problems. Gianni Moscon’s front tri-spoke wheel came apart seemingly all on its own and sent the Italian to the deck.
After Moscon went down, Sky were short the requisite five riders needed to cross the line, and they had to sit up and watch Geraint Thomas’s chances of winning the race crumble. Moscon wasn’t even the only rider having issues; a Team Sky rep confirmed to Cycling News that three riders (including Mikel Landa and Diego Rosa) had wheel problems.
Moscon blamed a hole in the road for the crash, which possibly could have been manhole cover he went over just before going down. Even if the cover jarred his wheel free, that thing was clearly fucked up before it even hit that hole cover. Look how it came more or less all the way apart and disengaged from the tire. Either way, Thomas isn’t winning the race, telling Cycling News, “It’s not ideal, but shit happens I guess.”