Chris Boardman on how Sky can deploy Wiggins and Cavendish

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish's move to Team Sky gives Great Britain potentially the strongest professional team in the ranks.

In Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, Sky have demonstrated they have two riders capable of challenging for overall victory in the Tour de France.

Now, with Cavendish on board, the team are going to be vying for stage wins as well.

It's an extremely strong set-up, but their biggest challenge is going to be managing so many chiefs.

I genuinely don't know how they are going to balance it. I don't think anybody does. It's going to be a very difficult juggling act.

The challenge is going to be how they prioritise their men - and I think compromise is going to come into it.

It is quite an unusual situation. What a team normally does is choose their priority: Is it to ride for general classification or is it for stage wins? The latter can generate good publicity but will always be second to the former, which is the big prize.

It is a big challenge and I think they can do it, but it will be a very fluid situation during the race.

For a start, Cavendish is going to have to sprint with fewer people. He has brought German Bernhard Eisel with him from his old team, HTC-Highroad, which will disband at the end of the season, but it may just have to be the two of them.

This should not present a problem for Cavendish, who proved at the World Championships that he doesn't need a complete train of cyclists helping him to win a sprint; he can do it with one or two. And that's a good thing because it is unlikely he is going to enjoy having the whole team dedicated to him as he did at HTC.

Having said that, in signing Eisel as a specialist lead-out man for Cavendish, Sky have already made a compromise in their pursuit of the general classification.

Eisel is a top-rank sprinter in his own right. He is not going to climb well or spend long days at the front of the pack to help Wiggins.

His job will be to set Cavendish up for the stage win, to ride the sprint until about 200m from the line, before swinging out of the way to let Cavendish through.

Overall, I think there is potential for some frustration for Wiggins and Cavendish because they won't be able to have what they want at all times.

But they are professional athletes who are getting paid a lot of money. You don't always like the jobs you've got to do at work but you have accepted the salary and in return you have got to get the job done.

I don't recall the last team that did this successfully but it is a fantastic problem to have and one that a lot of people would be envious of.

Chris Boardman was talking to BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham.

Top Stories