Wiggins discusses the upcoming Tour de France
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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Wiggins discusses the upcoming Tour de France

by Neil Browne at 7:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 

In a recent interview with BBC Television, Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky discussed his new team and the preparations for the 2010 Tour de France.

In the winter Wiggins left Garmin-Transitions and transferred to the mega-budget Team Sky. Sky have been very open about the fact that the team's goal is to put a British rider on the top step of the Tour podium in five years. Wiggins, with his fourth place in the 2009 Tour de France, fit the bill for what the team needed – a British general classification rider.

Wiggins began the interview by acknowledging that he is going to the Tour as a contender for the overall.

“I have to have a go. I can't ride time trials for the rest of my life in England. I have to see how far I can go with this. Last year if I had been sitting here with you I would have never imagined being in the top five of the Tour de France. I still don't know how much further I can go and how much I'm capable of,” said Wiggins.

Now as a protected leader, Wiggins no longer has the pressure of having to worry about being selected for the Tour de France squad.

“This time last year I was not expecting to be riding the Tour and I hadn't been selected.”

In order to accomplish what is considered the pinnacle of the sport of cycling, winning the Tour de France, there needs to be an infrastructure behind the scenes. Like Armstrong and his F1 team of engineers and coaches constantly looking for improvements in equipment and training, Team Sky has a host of staff evaluating any and all details. These minor details often separate Tour de France winners from losers.

“There is a whole team of people behind the scenes looking at all the areas where we can make gains,” explains Wiggins. “We saw it in Qatar. A lot of people were checking bits of equipment we were using because it is well known that is where the marginal gains [come from]. This is something I never really received on any other team to the extent that they go to.”

Beyond the cutting edge equipment and a staff devoted to the team, Wiggins knows out on the road he'll need to have some of the best riders available.

“We have a great batch of experienced riders: myself, Antonio Flecha, Kurt Asle Arvesen, and Michael Barry that have been in some of the world's biggest teams and they have respect within the peloton which is almost more important than the jersey they have on.”

While there is no pressure to perform to ensure a place on Sky's Tour team, it remains to be seen if Wiggins can handle the pressure of being a Tour de France contender.

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