How many Ford Transit vans does it take to win the Tour? We’ll soon find out – Team Sky has ordered a fleet of Fords for the new race season and beyond, with riders’ personal mattresses among the many payloads they’ll need to carry.
The order includes 10 Ford Mondeo wagons, eight S-MAX sports utility vehicles (SUVs), two Transit Jumbo vans, two Tourneo people carriers and two Kuga SUVs. With three Grand Tours ahead of Team Sky this season (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España) plus multiple Monuments, the new vehicles will need to be ready for Belgian cobbles, Alpine hairpins and everything in between.
Sir David Brailsford, team principal at Team Sky, said: “As we embark on our racing programme, Ford’s range of vehicles will play a vital role for Team Sky delivering the right car for the right environment as we strive towards even greater success and more race wins in 2016 and beyond.”
Jaguar has been Team Sky’s vehicle partner since 2010, during which time there have been three Tour wins with Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome MBE as well as countless other triumphs, so Ford will have big shoes to fill, starting with the Majorca Challenge races later in January 2016.
The job of each new ride
How are the new vehicles being used? Well it looks like the Mondeos will be used by sports directors and team mechanics to follow the riders during races, as well as by Team Sky’s senior management. Each Mondeo will be fitted with bespoke bike racks that can carry up to nine bikes, plus three radio systems to communicate with riders, and audiovisual equipment for race analysis.
The S-MAX and Kuga SUVS will be used as ‘carer cars’ to support the races, and to move team members around race locations from hotel starts to feed zones, for example. Each will be fitted with a radio system for quick communication.
The in-car radio system, used here by Sports Director (and former Team Sky rider) Nicolas Portal
The Tourneo people carriers will be used as airport/hotel shuttles to move team members around, and the Transit Jumbos will be used as logistics support for each race, and will carry riders’ gear, including those “personal mattresses”.
… what do you think of the new Team Sky vehicles? Let us know in the comments below.