Cycling’s Team Sky start their season in Australia on January 17 for the Tour Down Under, but they are all back in the saddle already for pre-season training on Mallorca, minus team leader, triple Tour de France winner Chris Froome.
This year team manager Dave Brailsford will have a seven-man outfit to look after after a rules change making all the teams smaller in the name of safety.
However the team has also been under severe scrutiny for several months following revelations that 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win the event, raced with anti-inflammatory drugs waivers for the 2011 and 2012 tours, and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Just days ago Froome told British media he refused to take a similar waiver on moral grounds for drugs to treat his asthma on the 2015 Tour, against his doctor’s advice. Froome was given therapeutic use exemptions in 2013 and 2014.