First day out in their first Grand Tour and Team Sky have come up trumps. Bradley Wiggins swept away the disappointment of Sky’s lacklustre Classics campaign when he rode the time trial of his life to claim the Giro‘s pink leader’s jersey on Saturday.

After years of prologue near-misses, Wiggo produced a road performance equal to his Olympic and World Championship track success and duly justified the hype surrounding the new British super-squad.

After that incredible fourth place in last year’s Tour de France there was absolutely no doubting Bradley’s GC credentials, but the time trials never went quite to plan. He took the Dauphiné prologue in 2007, raising hopes for the London Grand Départ, but finished fourth, was beaten by just one second in the final time trial of last year’s Giro and then was third in the opening time trial of the Tour.

Wiggo was becoming a nearly man, but Sky team boss Dave Brailsford knew there was still untapped potential.

“Brad can win big bike races like this if he really goes for it,” Brailsford reasoned. “We thought, let’s really put our minds to it.”

It’s an impressive start and according to a Sky sports director, Sean Yates “a proper stepping stone” for the Tour de France in a couple of months’ time.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • Simon

    The expectations of British cycling fans have never been higher than they are today. We’ve become accustomed to witnessing great success on the track, but ultimately it’s road success that most fans want to see. Cycling has rarely had a higher profile in Britain than it has today – we’ve now got a cycling Prime Minister as well as London Mayor, cycle-routes are popping up on an almost daily basis, bike shops and clubs are reporting ever more interest in cycling at every level, we have a great Pro Tour Series with lots of TV coverage, as well as an enigmatic ‘enfant terrible’ in the form of Mark Cavendish (Alex Higgins and John McEnroe did more good for their sport than harm – MC will do the same), add to this other world-class riders embedded firmly within the best international teams and a well funded pro team of our own now too. In years to come I think we’ll look back at 2010 as the year the British cycling renaissance really took hold.