Wiggins on ambitions: ‘My goal was always to win the Tour. It was never to win three Tours’
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wiggins on ambitions: ‘My goal was always to win the Tour. It was never to win three Tours’

by VeloNation Press at 12:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Sky rider states he’s satisfied with form despite missing out on Catalunya podium

Bradley WigginsSpeaking after he took fifth overall in the Volta a Catalunya, Bradley Wiggins has said that his goal in the sport is not to clock up a run of successes in the same race, but rather to set himself challenges and then to try to meet them.

The Briton rules out aiming for a run of yellow jerseys in the year ahead, although his age – he is 32 – would make it very difficult anyway for him to try to match the five Tours won by his idol Miguel Indurain, were he to fix that as a goal.

Instead, he wants to set different targets in the sport.

“My goal was always to win the Tour. It was never to win three Tours,” he said in a Team Sky interview. “So when I won the first Tour my life changed considerably. There was a lot to come to terms with and it’s only since January that I’ve got back to racing and training.

Wiggins hints at a possible sense of anti-climax once he achieved his goal, and said that he kept himself motivated by coming up with new ambitions.

“There’d been such a build-up for three or four years since I joined Sky to win the Tour. Once I’d done it I was a case of ‘what do I do now?’,” he explained. “I’d achieved everything that I’d wanted to achieve. It’s other things like that Giro that really interest me. But not just the Giro – trying to do a good Giro and then the Tour after it is appealing as well because it’s a new challenge.

“The plan is still to do Giro-Tour and managing that fatigue in between so we’re still good at the Tour. And that’s the challenge. The same as the Olympics and the Tour was last year…it’s that same sort of process.”

Leader or not?

Wiggins’s position on his Tour ambitions has oscillated in recent months. At the Tour de France presentation he said that the Giro d’Italia would be his main priority, and suggested that he’d back Chris Froome in the Tour if he was named leader.

In December he reversed his position, telling the BBC that he was ‘probably going to try to win a second Tour de France.’ Days later he then reiterated this to the Guardian.

“I've always wanted to win a second Tour. I'm the defending champion. I want to try and win the Giro d'Italia and win the Tour de France behind it,” he stated then. “People say it can't be done, winning two Tours. So let's have a go at it.”

The shifting of position led to surprise on the part of Chris Froome, who responded by stating that Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford had assured him that he would be the leader in the race. “The team are saying they are going to back me with the Tour this year,” he told The Times. “That’s directly from Dave [Brailsford]. He said: ‘You’re our man for the Tour. Focus on it.’

Wiggins then responded in turn by saying that he considered having two leaders was a plus, and that the road should decide who would be given priority.

Satisfied with Catalunya showing:

Although Wiggins made it a target to win the stage races he entered last year, he has had a quieter season this time round. He finished 161st and 152nd in two Challenge Mallorca events, was 74th in the Tour of Oman and then finished fifth in last week’s Volta a Catalunya.

He said that he wouldn’t put as much pressure on himself as last year, but did appear to be chasing victory on stage one when he dragged a break clear and then went flat out to the line. His team also rode the front on subsequent stages and appeared to be giving him the platform to go for victory, but he ultimately wasn’t at the same level as Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and others.

Despite that, he said afterwards that he was satisfied with his condition. “When I look back at what I’ve done since January – I’ve done a lot of work. More work than last year,” he stated. “I really enjoy training and I’m pleased with the level I’ve got back to. There were times when I thought maybe I’d never get back to that level. So this last week’s been really good.

“It’s been a hard week but that’s a good sign I think more than anything,” he continued. “My last race was Oman and I didn’t really get a lot out of it because I was quite tired. So it’s been a good little test really because it’s not easy with the summit finishes.”

Wiggins suggests that he wants to evolve his racing in a slightly different direction. He doesn’t mention Alberto Contador but the Spaniard is known as a very punchy rider with a fast acceleration and, unlike in last year’s Tour, the two riders will be up against each other in this year’s race.

That may be a factor, but what is clearly on his mind is the nature of the Giro and its parcours. “This year we’ve been working more on the explosive climbing and things like that because the racing is going that way more,” he said. “The Giro climbs are more that way, and on Vallter a few days ago the first signs were that I still had good legs to attack. So it seems to be working.”


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