Team Sky philosophical after Bradley Wiggins loses time behind late stage four crash
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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Team Sky philosophical after Bradley Wiggins loses time behind late stage four crash

by Ben Atkins at 3:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Race favourite concedes seconds to his rivals on second straight day

bradley wigginsBradley Wiggins (Team Sky) was caught behind a late crash in the closing kilometres of today’s fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia, as the peloton made a high speed descent to the finish at Serra San Bruno, and lost 17 seconds to those in the front group. Although the incident reportedly happened inside the final three kilometres, however - where International Cycling Union (UCI) rules normally allow affected riders to be attributed the same time as the group that they were part of - Wiggins was given the finishing at which he crossed the line.

After the stage Team Sky appealed to the jury to give the Tour de France champion the same time as stage winner Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF).

“Brad was caught behind a crash,” confirmed directeur sportif Marcus Ljungvist. “We are waiting from something from the race jury. The crash was inside three kilometres to go so hopefully they will recognise that.

“It’s one of those things that happens in bike racing. It’s certainly not the end of the world.”

Wiggins had been attentively close to the front of the peloton for much of the stage, with his team controlling the peloton as it chased down the day’s breakaway. Despite this, however, Wiggins still found himself delayed by the incident on the wet, slippery descent to the finish line.

“On the last climb we wanted to stay out of trouble and hold position there. The team rode well there. Everything is good within the team. The guys are strong with the exception of Dario [Cataldo] who is still suffering a bit from his illness the last couple of days. He’s doing a really good job and hopefully he’ll come around.”

Unfortunately for Wiggins, the race jury ruled that his finishing time would stand, saying that time gaps taken at the three kilometre to go point showed that he was already behind then. As a result the British rider lost 17 seconds to many of his overall rivals. With Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and defending Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) taking 12 and eight bonus seconds at yesterday’s finish - and with both finishing with Battaglin today - this was the second straight day that Team Sky’s captain lost time.

Team Sky took 25 seconds out of Garmin-Sharp in Sunday’s team time trial, and 37 seconds out of BMC Racing; Wiggins has now conceded all of that back again to Hesjedal, and almost all of it to Evans. Despite these small losses, however, Team Sky principle Dave Brailsford insists that the race will be won and lost much further down the road.

“It’s one of those races where you just have to pay attention all the time," Brailsford told Sky Sports News. "You can gain hard-earned seconds here and there and then you can lose time very quickly.

“Bradley’s in great shape mentally and physically. Ultimately this first week is all about staying in contention and then this race will be won and lost in the time trials and the high mountains.”

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