Cycling

Bradley Wiggins switches focus at Giro del Trentino

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Wiggins back in stage race mode. (©GettyImages)
Wiggins back in stage race mode. (©GettyImages).

Sir Bradley Wiggins led Team Sky to the third fastest finish in the Giro del Trentino stage race team time trial only behind the NetApp-Endura and BMC teams as he attempts to switch back to stage race mode. 

BMC was the fastest team on the day and won the 13.4 kilometre time trial with a time of 14:12. NetApp-Endura came in five seconds slower and Team Sky followed in 14:21.

The leader's pink jersey belongs to Daniel Oss, who was the first BMC rider to cross the finish line, while Wiggins earned a place on the podium to pull on the red sprints jersey.

Not much more than a week ago, the former Tour de France winner was battling on the Paris-Roubaix cobblestones where he surprised a few people by staying with the leading group and finishing in ninth place.

The four-day Trentino race and other upcoming challenges have required him to switch his focus back to stage racing though. The Briton told CyclingNews that he has been training hard and working to lose weight in Mallorca since Paris-Roubaix to prepare for the Amgen Tour of California in May.

"I've been trying to get back in the routine for these race, for stage races, after being in Belgium and not really doing much between the big days of racing," Wiggins said.

"I've had a tough couple of days after training hard but once I did my warm up I felt good. It's always hard to judge how you feel but I could tell that not much has changed since last Sunday."

Team Sky's third place was impressive as they started the Trentino with only six riders instead of a full squad of eight. Dario Cataldo and Kanstantsin Siutsou are likely to take on the leadership role as the race continues while Wiggins focus is on preparing for California.

"We've got other riders who have aspirations but like many people here, I don't think any one rider or any one team wants to take it on because they're thinking of the Giro d'Italia," Wiggins predicted.

It is the Briton's ambition to be chosen for Chris Froome's Tour de France team, which will selected late in June, and Wiggins will use the next few days of the Trentino to acclimatise to mountain riding before heading to the Tour of California.

"I hope to find my climbing legs in the next few days. It was always the plan to look at Roubaix as part of the process of the season. I didn't do the whole Classics campaign, so Paris-Roubaix didn't mark the end of the spring for me, I always knew it'd be two days off afterwards and then straight back to where we left," he added.

"The Tour of California is still definitely an objective but perhaps not as much as it was a while ago. The team has changed with some guys coming back from injury, so it will be hard to gauge what we can do. Of course, we'll give it our best shot."

After his successful Paris-Roubaix, Wiggins hinted that he might return to the tough classic next year and he confirmed as much after the Trentino time trial.

"I think Paris-Roubaix is best race in the world and knocks spots off the Tour de France," said the 2012 Le Tour winner.

"I like having the versatility to be able to target it and get a result. I won the Tour de France despite not being a pure climber. I don't know if that makes my Tour win better or worse but it was nice to go onto the Roubaix velodrome with the riders of that calibre of that front group, with people like Cancellara. I 100% definitely want to go back next year.”

There were many who doubted Wiggins' one-day race credentials, wondering whether he possessed the necessary strength and courage to survive in the intense race and the 33-year-old is pleased to have put those doubts to rest.

He now believes he can repeat, or even better, his result in next year's race.

"There was a lot of talk about if I could do something, with loads of propaganda and people asking Cancellara about me. But now I'm up there. When they remember next year that I was ninth, they'll say I can win Paris-Roubaix. And I'd love to go back and give it another go."

Meanwhile, Peter Kennaugh has been selected for Team Sky's provisional squad for the Giro d'Italia and might lead the team in the absence of Richie Porte.

Kennaugh was an important past of Sky's team at last year's Tour de France where Froome rode to victory and the 24-year-old Manxman might be given the chance to lead the team in the Italian grand tour, who starts in Belfast on May 9.

Other candidates for the role are Italian Cataldo and Belarusian Siutsou.

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Sir Bradley Wiggins
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