What next for Bradley Wiggins after this week’s fantastic victory in the Dauphiné? The Sky leader is playing down his chances of a podium finish at the Tour de France but he is in with a very good chance if he can keep his form for the next two weeks.

Forget last year’s disappointing performance; this is the same Bradley Wiggins who surprised everyone with his breakthrough fourth place in the 2009 Tour. Our man is time trialling and climbing better than ever in his race build-up and, scarily, he confesses, “I’m not at 100 per cent yet.”

“I can’t follow Schleck and Contador in the mountains, but the time trial is my thing,” he says. It’s a plan that worked perfectly in the Dauphiné: he gained on his rivals in the time trial but didn’t panic when the pressure was on in the mountains.

This was also the race that showed Sky as a world-class team. Bradley got the all support he needed and more, particularly from Edvald Boasson Hagen, who will be remembered for his mammoth pace-setting for Wiggins up the final climb on the penultimate stage.

It bodes well for the Tour. “Anything can happen,” says Wiggins. He’s not wrong. It’s shaping up to be quite a race. Can Cav finally grab green, and what of Contador’s controversial last-minute inclusion?

All this and much, much more in next week’s full Tour de France preview.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • Mark

    Yes, Norman – you certainly speak like someone with a little too much nationalistic fervour and a desperate shortage of cycling knowledge.

  • Norman Saunders

    The suggestion that Wiggins is merely a mediocre cyclist is ludicrous, obviously posed by someone who has little knowledge of cycling.
    In fact, anyone who claims a place on a major tour team, is by definition a fine cyclist.
    However, I don’t think Wiggins will make the podium on Le Tour, although I hope he proves me wrong. A top ten finish is more likely.

  • Deluded

    Brad’s gonna win…now shut yer cavernous traps and watch him pedal to victory!

  • Mark

    Steve. There are MANY dozens of cyclists who are capable of winning the Dauphiné, so winning it doesn’t make you in the least bit exceptional. In Grand Tour terms, Wiggins is distinctly mediocre. He will never be a gt winner .. and only the totally deluded would ever believe that he will be.

  • Steve

    Hey Mark, ‘mediocre’ cyclists don’t win Olympic golds or, more to the point, the Dauphine. Look who’s standing either side of him on the podium……..

  • Mark

    For goodness sake, will Cycling Weekly please stop trying to talk Wiggins up into something bigger than he is? It really is quite nauseating to see the way any semblance of objectivity gives way to gushing sycophancy whenever your writers are dealing with mediocre Bradley Wiggins.

  • Baggy

    Stop being so negative ref Wiggo. This win is great news, well done. Keep on trucking sky, nice one boys, great to be British with a team such as yours.

  • Steve B

    Wiggins is more than capable of a podium place in this years Tdf based on this performance, fingers crossed.
    Great to see team Sky operating at the world class level I expected of them albeit a year or so earlier…they seem to have earnt respect amongst the pro peleton pretty quick!

    Surprise in sprints for this years Tour will I hope be Sky rider Swift, watch out Cav, don’t take it all for granted!
    All great for British cycling, plus Millar could surpise a few and bag a stage.
    Perfect Year for GB cycling, bring it on.

  • Lee

    I agree, Wiggo isnt strong enough in the mountains to challenge Schleck or Contador….and Contador is too good in the time trial to put that much time into him. A possible podium maybe, Denis Menchov and a few others are stronger overall. Cadel didnt look great in the Tour of Cali or the Dauphine, but itd be interesting to see how that pans out.
    Cav is world class and has actually won many times with and without his train. It’ll be a good battle. Thor as ever is as tough as they come, and he’ll be the man to beat in the sprints and for the green.

    Whatever happens it should be a great tour and it’ll be good to see Team Sky make an impact on the race in whatever form it comes.

  • arronski

    Wiggins will never win the TDF, podium unlikely also, not good enough in the big climbs.

    Cav is the fastest sprinter on the planet on his day, but needs his HTC train to win, and is not good enough at the individual sprints and climbs to keep green in Paris….imo !

  • Ken Evans

    I doubt Wiggins will ever win the Tour,
    but he might be the first British person on the podium in Paris.

    Cav will probably win the Green jersey several times in his career,
    he is the fastest sprinter of his era.