Just two weekends ago, a public spat in Formula One reminded sports fans that professional athletes are, by nature, a rather narcissistic bunch. While Webber and Vettel continue to bicker, it is easy to see the potential for a similar scenario unfolding in professional cycling.
With a veritable glut of talent on their roster, it is not a stretch to imagine that Sky may have a problem managing the personalities and egos within their team, in a similar fashion to the discourse at Red Bull Racing.
So when does a stacked deck turn into a clash of egos, and what can be done to mitigate the impact on the team? For most teams, having more than one rider at short odds to win a monument or a grand tour is an absolute dream. For a team like Sky, flush with talent and potential, it has to be one of the most pressing issues.
Let's talk accountability, a term that seems to be missing from the vernacular of many sports administrators and athletes, but it is important. In fact, the future of clean sport, championed by its integrity, is balancing on accountability being taken by organisations, by individuals.
The Australian Crime Commission yesterday declared that Australian professional sports have a widespread doping problem. In order to protect individuals, they have not named specific sports, let alone specific teams or athletes.
Imagine the frustration felt by the cycling community that our sport was eagerly denounced as lacking integrity and ethics, yet our most popular sports of Australian rules football and rugby league, now under the microscope, deserve to be protected.
As the long road to Rio begins, the cycling world will be watching what unfolds this week at the Dunc Gray Velodrome for the 2013 Subaru Cycling Australia National Track Championships.
Post Olympic years often prove to be one of rebuilding, a changing of the guard if you like. This year is different. At both a state and national level, the realisation that youth development is of utter importance is starting to pay dividends, and both the experienced riders and the youngsters will race in Sydney with high expectations.
This is the beginning of a long four years. While we will see a few fresh faces and names, there will be also be rainbow stripes on show.
It’s January and that means Australia’s Summer of Cycling is in full swing. Next week will see the elite of Australian cycling descend upon Ballarat for the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships.
Each category will have three national titles up for grabs, starting with the time trial, the criterium and finally the jewel of the crown, the road race.
The women’s field this year will showcase the crème de la crème of Australia’s road talent, but it can’t go unnoticed that our best track riders and some young road talent will be absent as the track season builds momentum.
In a year where emotions ran high for riders and fans alike, when records were broken, history was made, and cyclists around the world achieved many awe inspiring feats, it’s hard to pinpoint a single highlight.
During 2012, I had the immense privilege of a front row seat to see Bradley Wiggins win his, and Great Britain's, first Tour de France title.
I witnessed Cameron Meyer’s spine tingling victory in the world points race title and the sprint stoush between Anna Meares and Victoria Pendleton.