Wiggins casts doubts on ever targeting Tour de France again
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Wiggins casts doubts on ever targeting Tour de France again

by VeloNation Press at 7:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Team Sky rider lays out programme for rest of season, says Tour requires giving up too much

Bradley WigginsCiting the sacrifices he had to make to get into prime condition for last year’s Tour de France, the 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins has suggested that he will likely never challenge again for the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

Speaking to the Guardian, the Team Sky rider suggested that he had to give too much of himself to win the race and that he isn’t willing to do so again.

“For me it was always about winning the Tour,” he told the paper. “I've done that. If I'm honest I don't think I'm prepared to make those sacrifices again that I made last year, with my family and so on. I've achieved what I've achieved. I'm incredibly happy with that.”

Wiggins dominated the calendar last season, winning Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour de France and the Olympic time trial. It was a level of performance and consistency that was far higher than he had achieved before in his career, and his 2013 season has been anonymous in comparison.

He has failed to take any victories this season, with fifth in the Giro del Trentino and the Volta a Catalunya being followed by a downbeat performance in the Giro d’Italia, his stated main goal for the year. Dropped on both climbs and descents, he eventually withdrew from the race and then stated afterwards that he had a knee problem which would prevent him from doing the Tour.

Now, there are suggestions tha the might not do that race again. “If I do anything else after this it will be stuff I want to do, stuff that I'm willing to train hard and sacrifice for really,” he said, the usage of the phrase ‘anything else’ even hinting that he could retire.

“For me it was always about winning the Tour, that was a huge thing for me, a huge journey; I've been doing that four years. I don't know if I'd want to go through all that again to be honest. I've always had other goals and there are other things I'd like to try and do.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, he stated that he is likely to compete again in the Tour of Poland, starting July 27th. After that he could race in Colorado, presumably the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and then the Tour of Britain.

That would lead him up to his new goal for the season, the world time trial championships in Italy.

“The World's was always a focus and if anything this gives me a better opportunity to focus on it. Doing the Giro and the Tour it was always a matter of how much would be left because there is an eight-week period from the end of the Tour to the World's which is a long time,” he said. “This has given me time to stop after the Giro and I've got a nice chunk of time to get ready for the World's.”

Wiggins declaration that he likely won’t chase another Tour de France title may clear the way for him to remain part of Team Sky. Chris Froome, with whom there has been tension since last year’s Tour, has made clear that he wants to win multiple editions of the race and it was difficult to see both he and Wiggins co-existing on the same team if they had the same goal.

However with the latter now talking about setting other targets instead, there seems less of the likelihood of a clash.

Indeed, Wiggins concedes that Froome could go on to dominate the event.

“There has been a natural selection this year through Chris's performances and my performances that he warrants being the team leader; and if he wins the Tour, that continues through to next year,” he said. “I can live with that. I didn't go to the altitude camp before the Giro because I wanted to be with my family; the kids are getting older and I like watching [my son] Ben play rugby and other things.”

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