Bradley Wiggins and his Sky team-mates closed out ‘phase one’ of the Giro d’Italia by nearly winning the team time trial today. Wiggins led the team through intermittent rain showers from Savigliano to Cuneo with the best time until Italian team Liquigas knocked them off top spot by 13 seconds.
“We were lucking in a sense that we didn’t get any rain in the finish because then we could have lost even more time,” Wiggins explained.
“We finished happy in the sense that we got it all out. Some of the guys are disappointed and thought they could have contributed more. But you always get that in a team scenario, especially in this team, where there is such pressure to perform well.
“I thought everyone did well, we couldn’t really go any faster.”
Sky lost one of its key men, Chris Sutton, due to a tyre puncture in the opening kilometres of the 33-kilometre run in Italy’s Piedmont region. The British team hesitated and then pushed as Sports Director Rod Eillingworth explained that the plan was only to wait if Morris Possoni or Wiggins had trouble.
Sky finished with five men: Wiggins, Michael Barry, Steve Cummings, Dario Cioni and Greg Henderson. Liquigas had nearly most of its men the whole way, leading over the line with Italian Vincenzo Nibali, the race’s new leader.
For Wiggins, stage four closed out the first phase of the Giro d’Italia. He enjoyed the high of wearing the leader’s pink jersey and now, he will relax a bit.
“To be honest, the Giro d’Italia will be always what it has been for me. I had to say different things to the press at the start not to disrespect the race. We committed to it [the classification battle] in the first few days and the events that happened happened. It has kind of taken me out now and it is almost a blessing in disguise in terms of pressure,” Wiggins continued.
“The first phase is over for us, Holland through the team time trial. Now, we will get into the monotony of the Giro. I am going to have a look at some points and have a good go on some of the mountain days. Getting a stage win would be nice.”
The high mountains start in the third week of the Giro d’Italia, with stage 14 to Asolo. In the meantime, Wiggins will focus on helping team sprinter Henderson win a stage and keep an eye on the Tour de France.
“It has always been about the Tour for me.”
Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
2010 Giro d’Italia coverage in association with Zipvit