Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins has revealed that he plans to use the Stage 10 individual time trial in the Vuelta as a rehearsal for next month’s world championships in Copenhagen, and that it will also help him assess his likely recovery in 12 months' time between the Tour de France and the time trial at the London Olympics.
Wiggins has recovered from the broken collarbone he sustained when he crashed out of the Tour de France last month on Stage 7, and will lead Team Sky in the Spanish Grand Tour, which starts a week tomorrow with a team time trial in Benidorm. It will be Wiggins’ first participation in the race.
Lining up alongside Wiggins, according to the Team Sky provisional squad list released by the British outfit yesterday, will be Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Dario Cioni, Chris Froome, Thomas Lofkvist, Morris Possoni, Ian Stannard, Chris Sutton and Xabier Zandio.
Kjell Carlström, Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Jeremy Hunt and Lars-Petter Nordhaug have been named as reserves.
The Vuelta will see Wiggins race his final time trial, for the next 12 months at least, in the national champion’s colours.
“When I got to do the Vuelta, it meant I couldn’t defend my title at the British championship for time trial”, the 31-year-old explained.
The Stage 10 individual time trial in the Vuelta takes place in Salamanca on 29 August, with the British national championship taking place five days later.
“I’m going to go into the Vuelta 100 per cent and get everything I can out of it”, he added.
“For me it’s about going in there, battling through the three weeks and seeing what I come out with.
“And then from the end of the Vuelta to the World Time Trial Championships, it is pretty much the same amount of time from the Tour de France next year to the Olympic time trial,” he added.
“So it is a good opportunity to go through that whole dress rehearsal for next year and see where I stand after a three week tour and how I back up for a big event like the Worlds.”
During that individual time trial at the Vuelta, Wiggins will be up against two of the best riders in the discipline – four time world champion Fabian Cancellara of Leopard Trek, and HTC-Highroad’s Tony Martin, who has twice finished third in the world championships behind the Swiss rider.
Britain’s David Millar, who took silver behind Cancellara in Geelong last year, will be missing from the Vuelta, however – his wife is expecting their first child.
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.