Sutton wants Wiggins to miss Tour de France, and target Giro and Vuelta instead
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sutton wants Wiggins to miss Tour de France, and target Giro and Vuelta instead

by VeloNation Press at 6:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España
Says 2012 Tour champ can become a ‘legend’ by winning all three Grand Tours during career

Bradley WigginsIt’s common for Tour de France champions to seek to defend their title but if Bradley Wiggins follows the advice of British Cycling coach Shane Sutton, he might not even be at the startline in 2013.

Sutton, who has been a big influence on Wiggins during his career, has suggested that Wiggins might need to set fresh targets to remain focussed.

“Nothing can take that away from him,” Sutton told Eurosport, in speaking about his Tour de France win. “It took 106 years in the making…to find a British winner, and it is a phenomenal achievement. Whether we have an appetite to go back and repeat I am not sure yet.”

Rather than peaking for the Tour de France in July, Sutton said that he would prefer to see Wiggins aim to be at his best at two distinct points of the season; namely, May and August/September.

“For me I would like to see Brad go out of this sport, not that he won't as it stands already, but as a legend,” he explained. “I think the legendary status for him could be enhanced by winning the three Grand Tours. I think he should target the Tour of Italy and then the Vuelta.

"He came third in the Vuelta [in 2011] off the back of laying on a hospital bed for six or seven weeks out after a shoulder operation. So that is doable.

"The Giro is a different one; it is a different kettle of fish. But if anyone can do it, Brad can.”

If Wiggins were to complete the treble, it would cement his place in the sport. Only five riders have won all three races during their careers, namely Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Alberto Contador.

One aspect weighing against Sutton’s proposal is that the Tour de France is by far the most important race of the season, in terms of media attention and sponsor publicity. Chief backer Sky will likely want to win again, and so the notion of Wiggins missing the race will likely only find favour if Team Sky believes Chris Froome can win the Tour.

He was second to Wiggins this year, but appeared stronger in the mountains. However he will likely be up against former winners Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck next year, and will need to be able to handle both.


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