Giro d’Italia: Wiggins drops GC ambitions, will aim for selected stages
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Giro d’Italia: Wiggins drops GC ambitions, will aim for selected stages

by Conal Andrews at 8:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
On track for Tour de France

Although Bradley Wiggins is less than five minutes off the race lead of Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), he has played down any thoughts of aiming for a high general classification place in the Giro d’Italia. The Briton, who helped drive Team Sky to second in yesterday’s team time trial in Cuneo, has said that he will focus on selected stages rather than digging in each day.

“Three crashes in two days have kind of dropped me out of contention now, but I still really enjoy this race and riding it for three weeks, I can't fail to get something out of it,” he said on the team website. “Those crashes might even prove to be a blessing in disguise in terms of pressure.

"I'm still going to have a good go on some of the mountain days, and to challenge for another stage win would be nice.”

Wiggins showed strong form in winning the day one time trial, but then lost the race lead on stage two when he was delayed due to crashes. He conceded 37 seconds to the first riders, then lost another three minutes 59 seconds on Monday when he hit the deck again.

Yesterday’s strong time trial moved him up the general classification relative to many of his rivals, and he started today’s stage four minutes and 36 seconds behind Nibali.

A top ten finish is still very realistic yet, with the Tour de France as his main focus, he doesn’t want the pressure of pushing hard for three weeks.

Aside from testing himself on a few stages, he will also play a team role on others. "I'll be hopefully helping out in the sprints too,” he said. “Greg [Henderson] is flying but he's not really had that full slingshot at the line yet so we'll be looking to do that for him over the next few days."

Philosophical in defeat:

For much of yesterday’s stage, it looked like Team Sky were going to end up on top. However a brilliant performance by the Liquigas squad saw it bump the British ProTour outfit off the head of the leaderboard. The final deficit was 13 seconds, which might otherwise have been overcome had Chris Sutton not suffered a puncture almost immediately after the start.

Wiggins accepted the result, though. "It's always disappointing when you lose a bike race, but we couldn't have gone any faster and did the best we could as a unit.

"When it rained the speed obviously dropped off a little, but I don't think we could have made any time up elsewhere on the course. We were lucky in a sense that we didn't get any rain at the finish. We kept the speed going well in those last five kilometres and were happy in as much as we got it all out.

"Some of the guys were a bit disappointed because they felt they could have contributed more, but you always get that in a team scenario. For me personally, I felt that everyone played their role and we couldn't really have done anything more given the conditions."

Today’s stage covers 162 kilometres from Novara to Novi Ligure. A bunch sprint is the most likely outcome, and so Wiggins may well have his chance to help Henderson aim for the win.

 

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