Super-domestique Wout Poels has opened up on his ambitions to one-day lead a Grand Tour for Team Sky.
The Dutch rider was a right-hand man in Chris Froome's historic third Tour de France win last year, and with Sky looking to emulate that feat again in 2017, there is no doubting Poels will be there again to aid Froome come July.
It was a good 2016 for Poels, he performed well in the Tour, but winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege was certainly the highlight, as not only was it one of Poels biggest wins to date, it was also Sky’s first Monument victory since their inception.
But, despite performing well over the past year leadership in bigger races is something that has eluded the 29-year-old – but he is hoping to change that with leadership roles in the shorter stage races such as Paris-Nice and the Tour of Switzerland.
Poels says he has to wait for his ‘chance’ for leadership roles within Sky
Sky have a bundle of riches at their disposal; and with the likes of Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa getting the nod at the Giro D’Italia this May, and with Froome possibly going for both the Tour and the Vuelta a Espana this year it means Poels will have to play a supporting role once again.
But the Dutch rider still harbours hope of leading Sky in the future, saying: “I really want to try one day in a Grand Tour, but that’s the only thing in this team we are such a strong team.”
“I’ll have to wait for that chance and hopefully it’ll come,” he continued.
But Poels insists he would like to lead at either the Tour or the Vuelta in the future; and admitted doing the Giro could hamper his progression in the Grand Boucle: “If I want to lead the team, if I can have this opportunity, I’d really want to prepare like I do for the Tour.”
Doing two Grand Tours in one year is always a tough ask for any riders, let alone the top ones, and when Poels ventures into possible leadership he wants to make sure he does everything he can to be in the best possible shape: “Not do the Tour before and then the Vuelta and look how it goes, because if it goes wrong [at the Vuelta] then for sure you won’t have the opportunity again.”