11 chapter 1 • AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SIX BATTERIES OF CHANGE Spark for reflection: The mastery of Team Sky Cyclist Bradley Wiggins looked out of the window of his private jet, as it left the French coastline behind and headed towards England. Accompanied by his wife and two children, as well as manager of Team Sky, Sir Dave Brailsford, he was flying home for the final stages of preparation before the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 10 days he would compete for gold in the individual time trial. Wiggins reflected on what had been an incredible year for him and Team Sky. He had won three im- portant one-week stage races and a few hours earlier he’d stood on the podium as winner of the Tour de France, the world’s most prestigious cycling race. Team Sky was a relative newcomer in the cycling peloton. It had been formed three years earlier by Brailsford, who had built credibility in Beijing 2008, where Great Britain won eight gold medals – a unique performance in British cycling history. Brailsford’s goal was to have the first ever British winner of the Tour de France. Mission accomplished. Brailsford introduced a science-led approach that bred phenomenal success in the discipline of road racing. He and his team examined every aspect of cycling in min- ute detail for possible improvement, and the cumulative effect of those many small gains gave the team a considerable advance on the opposition. Team Sky had re- thought and worked hard on elements such as training, equipment, performance management, psychological support, nutrition, and racing tactics. Team Sky had also established a special culture and connection among its riders. It provided individual psychological support and helped riders to deal with their emotional challenges and fears along the way. In only three years of intensive hard work, their efforts had finally paid off. Wig- gins realized that he and Team Sky had shown an almost complete mastery of sport’s most complex alchemy: the compelling amalgam of teamwork and individ- ual effort…1