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Back to the drawing board for Sky as their team leader slips to 18th

Bradley Wiggins says he feels ‘consistently mediocre’ in this year’s Tour after another disappointing performance in the mountains yesterday.

As the cat and mouse game between Contador and Schleck continued at the top of the leader board, Wiggins slipped to 18th in the general classification after stage 14 – 11 minutes 30 seconds behind Schleck.

According to the Telegraph, after finishing nearly five minutes behind stage winner Christophe Riblon yesterday, Wiggins admitted, “I’ve got nothing. I just haven’t got the form. I’m just trying my hardest, battling on, rather than give up. I just haven’t got it as I did last year. I don’t know why. I just feel consistently mediocre.”

Wiggins has never looked close to repeating his form of last year, when he finished fourth.

He was in trouble from the first big climb, the hors-category Port de Pailhères, an ascent to 2001m that includes 20km of solid uphill drag before the official 15km climb begins.

Tom Lovkvist, his mountain domestique at Sky, has to wait for him on all the big mountain days and finished more than two minutes ahead of Wiggins.

With three demanding mountain days to come, the Telegraph suggests it may be time for Sky to let the Swede off the leash to help him gain the highest GC position possible.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 

13 comments

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simonmb [353 posts] 5 years ago
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Good for Wiggo. He's given it his best shot, yet has been found left wanting. He hasn't blamed anyone else, hasn't come up with excuses, and isn't about to quit. I've great respect for the man.

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kittyfondue [56 posts] 5 years ago
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So splashing the Murdoch cash around and big buses with satellite dishes don't guarantee a dominating team or a podium finish!?! Whodda thunk it! Vaughters must be laughing all the way to the bank ...

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Denzil Dexter [140 posts] 5 years ago
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No surprise really is it, Sky splashed out on the back of one good Tour. I think it was said on here at the time that this would turn out to be more of a cheque trousering move on Wiggins' part (and who can blame him) than a career enhancing one.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 5 years ago
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Well I'm not happy, Lovkvist has been the only constant in my fantasy TdF team and now I find that wiggo has been costing me points by making Lovkvist wait for him  14

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 5 years ago
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To be fair to Sky, they've only been racing six months, and this is only year one of the five-year plan.

Eurosport said the other day that Sky had been in touch to say that contrary to popular opinion, they only had the sixth-biggest budget in the ProTour and provided figures from the UCI to back that up.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 5 years ago
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simonmb wrote:

Good for Wiggo. He's given it his best shot, yet has been found left wanting. He hasn't blamed anyone else, hasn't come up with excuses, and isn't about to quit. I've great respect for the man.

+1

I've been worried about his form since he started fading on stages during the Giro. He's definitely not going as well as hid did last year, when you knew he'd always be there with the top half-dozen riders on the mountain stages.

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handlebarcam [550 posts] 5 years ago
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He is even more explicit in his evaluation of his own performance here:

Honest, but I can't help imagining Murdoch pressing the "Release the Hounds" button under his desk if he sees that video.

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kittyfondue [56 posts] 5 years ago
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Simon says that 'to be fair to Sky, they've only been racing for six months' - but Sky were the ones who were talking all big and bad about their chances - Wiggo included and I don't think it was just to gee himself up - so it's not like they're little wallflowers who kept quiet and to themselves. They have been consistently arrogant in their six months so I'm betting there's the sweet taste of schadenfreude for some in the peloton...

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hammergonewest [105 posts] 5 years ago
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Blimey!

Never mind the dogs he should be checking for the ejector seat on the team bus.

Come to think of it Dave Brailsford does bear more than a passing resemblance to Blofeld… and Uncle Fester

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WolfieSmith [1314 posts] 5 years ago
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Schardenfreude from the armchair sportsmen... If he'd won the tour this year the same people would only be calling it a fluke. He wasn't good enough this year and honest enough to admit it. Chapeau Brad. As for Sky in the future? All our sport is owned by dodgy people. Best concentrate on the positive. Team Sky have done well and will do better. If you don't like Murdoch don't subscribe - I don't.  37

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dave atkinson [6201 posts] 5 years ago
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i fancy they'll let lovkvist off the leash tomorrow, whatcha reckon? he's already well ahead of wiggo and the stage will suit him, up from the very off

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 5 years ago
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That's what I'm counting on  1

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hammergonewest [105 posts] 5 years ago
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Well I like Wiggins, but at the moment last year does look like a fluke. He struck a good deal while his stock was high - good luck to him. As to the fighting talk? Well sport is a business like any other and sportsmen know it's part of their job to talk up the show, he was just doing what he's supposed to. Top marks for putting his hands up now that it's blindingly obvious he's got no form, (and I'm not being sarcy - he could have just come out with the usual platitudes) although surely his ride in the Giro was a clue too.

You could argue that to be out of form and hovering around the top 20 at the Tour is the mark of a top rider, and it's not as if he's too old yet either.