Bradley Wiggins won his first Tour de France stage yesterday in Besançon wearing a custom skinsuit that Sky designed with the race organiser’s and cycling federation’s approval.



The team of marginal gains planned for the yellow kit months in advance in case Wiggins would be leading the race in one of the key time trials. “He has the right to ride in his own kit,” Event Director Jean-François Pescheux told Cycling Weekly, “so did Lance Armstrong and Miguel Indurain.”

Sky played down the kit yesterday after Wiggins won the time trial. Sky’s Head of Business Operations, Fran Millar worked with ASO to prepare a team model. However, she was tight-lipped when approached yesterday about it, referring the questions to ASO.

Wiggins, just 24 hours earlier, failed to give any clues away. He explained that he thought he would be riding in the race issue Le Coq Sportif skinsuit instead of his usual custom Adidas model.

“To be honest, I haven’t really thought about it,” he said in a press conference. “I guess it’s Le Coq Sportif, they made the kit, so…”

When speaking to our sister title Cycle Sport in March, he said that he hoped to be in his own Adidas skinsuit. “I’ll hopefully not be in the jersey so I can wear my team skinsuit,” Wiggins told said at the time. “Just a couple of seconds off the lead, hopefully behind someone who’s s**t at time trialling.”

Wiggins leads by 1-53 minutes over Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) after the first 41.5km time trial in which he beat the Australian by 1-43 minutes. They still have six mountain stages through the Alps and Pyrenees before the next 53.5km time trial.

The Tour organiser, ASO was less accomodating last month in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Wiggins led the race and time trialled in the obligatory race-issue yellow kit. At the time they offered him a small, medium or large kit – he selected medium. Although Wiggins won there too Team Sky pushed ahead for its own yellow kit.

“Sky asked ASO to design its own kit, respecting the logos. The problem is it is difficult to check, there can be a problem in terms of colour or with the logos incorrectly sized,” ASO race official, François Lemarchand told Cycling Weekly at the Dauphine.

“They will be given all the details, maybe they will show up with a skinsuit, but it will be a last moment decision… If Sky does it, then the whole world will want to do it. Everyone has to be on the same level.”

Pescheux did not say when the decision was made, indicating that the possibility had always been there since the days of Indurain.

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  • sterv

    All that R&D effort on the skinsuit, then he goes and removes his visor…