Tour of Britain: Team Sky admits defeat in relation to yellow jersey hopes
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Tour of Britain: Team Sky admits defeat in relation to yellow jersey hopes

by Shane Stokes at 9:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
De Jongh says team will target stage wins instead

Greg HendersonJust three days into the Tour of Britain, Team Sky’s hopes of taking the overall victory were badly dashed when yesterday’s stage winner Greg Henderson lost one minute 27 seconds to Michael Albasini. The HTC Columbia rider stole a march on the day’s second climb, the category one ascent of Black Mountain, pushing on ahead with his powerful team-mate Tony Martin and eventually winning the stage in Swansea.

That left Henderson one minute 26 seconds back in second overall and, according to directeur sportif Steven de Jongh, with no chance of taking back the yellow jersey.

“I think the GC is not possible,” conceded the former pro at the finish. “We are going to aim for some more stage wins.

“What we saw from Albasini today was that he is really strong. [To win] there must be strange situation with groups going away, but I don’t think that is going to happen, to be honest.

Henderson has performed well in various races in the past, but Wiggins’ fourth place in last year’s Tour and other career victories mark him out as the better rider on paper when it comes to stage races. However the Briton and his compatriot Geraint Thomas opted to put everything into helping Henderson win the stage win yesterday, with both of them ultimately cracking at the end of the stage.

Wiggins then took himself completely out of contention today when he dropped back from Albasini’s group on the climb to try to help Henderson. He ended the day 14th overall, 6 minutes 34 seconds back, while Thomas is one place better.

De Jongh said that it was Wiggins’ decision to ride like this. “It was a call Bradley made there, to aim for the stage victory [yesterday]…I am glad we got that win.

“[Today] Bradley was up front. The riders stayed with Greg as he was at his limit when they went really hard on the climb. He didn’t have anything left. He was pushing the maximum he had, and the guys stayed with him. We had only Bradley in front and he decided to try to make the call to wait for Greg to try to bring him back. They did everything they could, but they couldn’t bring him back on.

“It would be good if Greg was still up front in GC, but that didn’t happen so we are going to aim for some more stages.”


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