Wiggins outlines TdF and Olympic aims

Wiggins outlines TdF and Olympic aims


25th July 2011
Source: Press Association Sport

Photo: Wiggins has high aspirations in a busy 2012 with both the Tour de France and London Olympics

Bradley Wiggins retains multiple goals for 2012 with both the Tour de France and London Olympics on the Team Sky rider's radar.

The 31-year-old Londoner crashed out at the end of the first week of this year's Tour and is currently recovering from a broken collarbone, with the Vuelta a Espana and World Championships time-trial his remaining targets this year.  But next year Wiggins aims to challenge in the Tour and ride on the road and the track at the Olympics.

He said: "If it is a possibility I'll try to do everything and that's part of the challenge - I wouldn't be taking it on if I didn't believe I could do it.  The Tour de France is naturally the one that comes first and the one that takes priority but after that it's straight into the Olympics.

"Form is something you can sustain for seven weeks. If I get it right, that whole four or five-week period is where it will be.  The risks that come in the Tour de France may be that they jeopardise the Olympics, but that's a risk I'm willing to take - that's part of bike racing."

Team Sky leader Wiggins' quest is built around the belief he was in the condition of his life entering the Tour, resurrecting the form of 2009 - when he finished fourth, equalling the best result by a Briton - 12 months after finishing a disappointing 24th.  Wiggins, a three-time Olympic champion, added: "For me the Tour de France is still unfinished business, but that whole period is the priority - I see it as one big period.

"How far I've moved on this year to move to this level and how close I feel to achieving something great at the Tour de France - I'm not willing to give that all up for a year to go on the track in a team event where I'm reliant on three other people.  That sounds quite selfish, but that's just the level that I've taken it to."

Wiggins would take part in the Tour, which begins in Liege on June 30th and finishes on July 22th, then return from Paris to prepare for the Olympics.  He would ride for gold in the road time-trial on August 1, with qualifying in the team pursuit - an event in which Wiggins won gold in Beijing - beginning in the velodrome on August 2.  As Britain's road time-trial participant, Wiggins would also be required to compete in the road race, which takes place on July 28th and would see Mark Cavendish favourite to take victory on The Mall.

Cavendish, who won the points classification's green jersey in Paris on Sunday, has been linked with a move to Team Sky at the end of his contract with HTC-Highroad.  Wiggins believes the squad, run by British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford, can run with dual ambitions - in the general classification and sprints - if Cavendish's move to Team Sky goes through in 2012.

"I only see his arrival, if he does come and signs, as a benefit all round.  The thing with Mark is you know 99 times out of 100 if you do do that leadout he's going to win.  That helps the cause, that helps the morale in the team.  And Mark's an incredible guy to have around."

Wiggins crashed on stage seven of the Tour, as Cavendish won in Chateauroux on Friday, July 8th.  The following Monday, Wiggins underwent surgery to have a plate inserted into his shoulder and four days later he was back on his bike.

"I got away lightly I think," said Wiggins, reflecting on other, more serious, crashes during the race.  For 150k of that stage I thought 'any moment now'.  It seemed like one of the most hectic first weeks of the Tour."

Initially, Wiggins found watching the race - against advice - difficult, but by the final week in the Alps he was viewing it differently.  He added: "I was just watching it for the beauty of the sport."

Wiggins was cautious about assessing where he might have come in the race, won by Australia's Cadel Evans.  He added: "It's all ifs and buts. The only thing I can do is come back next year stronger and try to do it all again."

For now, Wiggins will target a high placing in the Vuelta, which runs from August 20th to September 11th, and the World Championships time-trial in Copenhagen on September 22th - a timescale which is similar to the duration between the Tour and the Olympic time-trial next summer.  He said: "It's a good opportunity to go through that dress rehearsal for next year and seeing where I stand after a three-week Tour and how I back up for the worlds."