Bradley Wiggins appears to have rethought his participation in this year’s Tour of Britain (TOB), the route of which was announced yesterday, after talking through his options with Team Sky Head Coach, Shane Sutton.
Yesterday, the two-time Olympic Individual Pursuit Champion who has emerged as a genuine talent on the road with time trialling one of his principal strengths, said on the social networking website, Twitter: "No TT again in race around Britain, looks like a race for the sprinter again, looks like Vuelta this year then."
But with Wiggins already confirmed for next month’s Giro d’Italia and due to lead Team Sky’s challenge in the Tour de France during the summer in which he will be aiming to improve on last year’s fourth place, riding the Vuelta would see him take part in all three Grand Tours in the same year, something that few riders, certainly of his profile, attempt.
On Twitter this morning, the British cyclist revealed that he has had a change of heart, saying: “Had a good chat with Shane Sutton last night, looks like I will ride TOB now."
Sutton, whose nephew Chris, now with Team Sky, won the opening stage of last year’s Tour of Britain while riding for Garmin-Slipstream, is one of the architects of Team GB’s Olympic success and is as close to Wiggins as anyone within the sport, meaning that his advice is likely to have proved influential.
With Wiggins’ Olympic success making him perhaps Britain’s highest-profile road cyclist, his participation in September’s race would no doubt be welcomed by the race organisers and would help draw non-cycling fans to the event.
However, it looks as though the other British ProTour rider whose fame has spread beyond the word of cycling, Mark Cavendish, will not feature in the TOB, with the Guardian reporting that according to HTC-Columbia, their star sprinter will race in the Vuelta instead.
That news is unlikely to be well received by the US-based ProTour outfit’s other sprint ace, the German André Greipel, winner of the Vuelta’s green points jersey last year, who was recently involved in a rather public war of words with Cavendish that was quickly quelled by team manager Bob Stapleton.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.