Sir Dave Brailsford insists that Team Sky is prepared to try and ‘seize the moment' at the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
Sir Bradley Wiggins will lead the British team's nine-man outfit when the Corsa Rosa begins on 4 May in Naples, in search of the maglia rosa to add to his Tour de France maillot jaune.
The goal of winning the Tour de France within five years of being formed in 2010 was realised by Team Sky with Wiggins’ victory last year. And with that fulfilled the 96th edition of the Giro presents the chance to continue the momentum picked up by the UCI WorldTour outfit in the past 18 months.
“I think it’s the first time we’ve had a genuine assault at the Giro d’Italia,” said Team Sky team principal Brailsford, who is also British Cycling's performance director.
“A lot has been spoken in the last few weeks about the history of the race and why so many people really really like the Giro but it’s always exciting going into something when you think you have the possibility to compete for the top step of the podium.
"It’s a different approach this year but he has trained very hard and I’m sure that he’s ready to go."
Sir Dave Brailsford on Sir Bradley Wiggins' Giro preparations
“The team’s ready, prepared, we have a good plan, a great team - Brad is ready. He’s recced a lot of the course that he needs to and he’s in good shape so it is very much an opportunity to go and try to seize the moment and see what we can do.”
Wiggins’ build-up to the Grand Tour has seen races targeted that will aid the Briton in his climbing and less so the potent time trialling which delivered him to the Tour and Olympic gold in 2012.
Between the Tour of Oman, Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino that Wiggins has participated in, only the latter contained any time trial, a team event which was won by Team Sky.
Last year, Wiggins had triumphs in the Paris-Nice and Tour de Romandie stage races at this point in the season and has himself described this year’s events as prerequisites for ‘the bigger picture’ of the Giro.
“Brad’s preparation this year has been very different from what it was last year. This time last year he had just come off the back of winning Romandie and he was having a very successive series of race winning outings,” Brailsford said.
“He’s raced less this year and we know that the races he has raced this year have been the races that been decided through climbing ability rather than time trials.
“So at Cataluna Trentino – a team time trial but no individual time trial so I think he has taken a lot of confidence from that and it’s a different approach this year, but he has trained very hard and I’m sure that he’s ready to go.”
Wiggins experienced his best finish in the Giro in 2010, ending the general classification in 40th having won the stage one time trial in Amsterdam, becoming the second ever British rider to wear the pink jersey after Mark Cavendish in 2009.