Team Sky chief and Team GB performance director David Brailsford has said that having Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish aiming for glory in the Tour de France and Olympic Games is a ‘recipe for failure’.

Brailsford, speaking to the BBC, said that the two British star riders will have to prioritise their aims for the year as the season rolls on. Wiggins is aiming for overall victory in the Tour de France and Olympic Games road time trial; whilst Cavendish is out to defend his green jersey at the Tour and win the Olympic Games road race.

“We have four goals in close proximity. The Tour de France yellow jersey, the green jersey, Olympic road race and Olympic time trial, all of which revolves around Mark and Bradley,” said Brailsford.

“At this stage in the game, as you head into that period, you look at what the form is like and like everything else in life you have to prioritise.”

“To give each an equal significance and try and win everything is probably a recipe for failure. What we really need to do is look at them and say ‘if we can have one of those things, which one would you take and how would you build your chances around that’,” Brailsford continued.

“We’re quite clear in our minds about our approach going into this year and it’ll pan out when we get there.”

Since Cavendish joined Wiggins at Sky at the start of the 2012 season, Brailsford is in the position of being able to prioritise both riders’ professional and national cycling duties – a luxury that few teams and riders can boast going into Olympic year.

Brailsford’s comments are perhaps the first clear indication that something will have to give – and that Wiggins will likely aim for the Tour de France overall and Cavendish will concentrate on the Olympic Games road race. Anything else achieved along the way in targetting those priorities will be a welcome bonus.

Already this year, Bradley Wiggins has taken a major stage race win at Paris-Nice and Mark Cavendish has scooped victories at the Tour of Qatar, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Tirreno-Adriatico.

Cavendish will be in action in Sunday’s Ghent-Wevelgem classic in Belgium, one of his key targets for the season.

Related links

British professional road wins 2012

External link

Brailsford interview in BBC website

  • Stepdot

    Surely it has to be the tour before the Olympics. When the Olympics was the pinnacle of amateur sporting achievement then that was fine but now it has lost a lot of credibility. No longer is it the best in the world fighting for honours, now it is limited to a maximum number of athletes from any one country it means that the likes of Wiggins and Cav will be fighting it out with cyclists who might not even be in the to 500 in the world which seems perverse to me, and dont get me started on synchronised sports like falling off a 15 metre platform (diving i think they call it) and splashing around in the shallow end with a couple of friends (synchronised swimming that one i think) and even worse a few tipsy teenage girls in bikinis showing off to their boyfriends on the beach (beach volley ball). And Cav is thinking about passing up on the green jersey to be compared with that dross!

  • Trefor Jones

    I always though Cav going to Sky was a mistake for him when the world was his oyster whilst all Bailsford rea;lly wants for 2012 is more Olympic gold medals which make him look good in the eyes of the short sighted red top British press and guarantee more lottery funding.

    He refuses to accept he is still on a hugely steep learning curve whereas many of his key riders – David Milllar included – together with his director sportives have more experience and nouse about road cycling than he will ever pocess. Yes Wggins can possibly win that yellow jersey. and as Cav has said before the Olympics count for nothing – especially without his Worlds road captain David Millar – so in reality Brailsford is in danger of demoralising the best generation of road pro’s we have ever had not forgetting several first class backroom boys everyone of whom recognises the long term importance of the TdF.


  • Mark Jones

    I agree, it has to the Tour first and if Brailsford sacrifices success in the biggest race in the world for Olympic medals then it is a disgrace. This is probably the only chance Wiggo will have of winning the Tour with so many TT miles and success here will put road cycling well and truly on the map in the UK. British Cycling is a backward looking organisation who is slowing destroying cycling in the UK and these riders should look after their own interests and forget about the Olympics. No one will remember a gold medal in a few years time compared to a yellow jersey at the Tour.

  • Simon

    It has got to be the Yellow Jersey and the Olympic Road Race.

    I am not Wiggos biggest fan, but he is showing that he has got Grand Tour credentials and should be given the support to try and win the T de F.

    Cav already has won the Green Jersey and will win it again, he may not get another opportunity to win the Olympic RR.

    The Olympic TT would be a bonus should it fall that way.

    Sky and BC need to be more flexible in their approach though.

  • woody

    I agree with Guy. Tour de France is way more important than the Olympics

  • Guy

    He is ‘right on the money’…it will be make your mind up time soon.

    The Tour de France has to be given preference surely.

  • Greg Haworth

    Flexibility? Wow.

    A bit of that and maybe EBH could have had better support in Milan- San Remo after it was obvious Cavendish was out of it.

    And maybe Froome wouldn’t have had to take 2nd in the Vuelta by such a small margin.