Stephen Roche says Bradley Wiggins should not be concerned by losing time in the Tour of Qatar standings, but finishing third in the time trial is a cause for concern

Sir Bradley Wiggins has a long way to go if he’s to reach top form for Paris-Roubaix, according to Stephen Roche, who says the Brit’s time trial performance was of particular concern.

While Roche concedes it was only Wiggins’ third day of racing this season, the 1987 Triple Crown winner said in his skysports.com column that he expected Sir Bradley to honour his first outing in the rainbow stripes with a win.

Wiggins finished nine seconds down to winner Niki Terpstra in the stage three time trial and sits over 12 minutes down on the Belgian in the overall standings after being caught out in the Qatar crosswinds.

“It’s no secret that Wiggins isn’t the best rider in the wind and the likes of [Tom] Boonen have successfully exposed that,” he wrote. “It’s an unfortunate reflection on Wiggins, but in a race like the Tour of Qatar, it comes with the territory.”

“What I would be slightly more concerned about is Tuesday’s time trial, where Wiggins could only finish third and was beaten over 10km by nine seconds by winner Terpstra, who took victory at Paris-Roubaix last year and could well be one of his biggest rivals at this year’s race.”

“OK, it was only Wiggins’ third day of racing of the year and he wasn’t on a time trial bike as they aren’t allowed in Qatar, but it was his first time wearing the world champion’s rainbow jersey and I would have thought he would have wanted to honour it by winning the stage.

“So to have lost almost one second per kilometre to Terpstra is far from ideal. Again, it’s not a major worry, because Paris-Roubaix is still nine weeks away, but it does show that he is far from his best form and still has a lot of work to do.”

  • Paul Jakma

    An age ago, before he retrained himself to much longer road and ITT efforts. When’s the last time Bradley won a prologue length TT? He’s not /bad/ at those distances, but he’s not as strong as at the longer distances.

  • Bob Smith

    a short TT in a short stage race is the norm in pro racing. Bonus seconds are then used to attract exciting racing. Being in Qatar with the good roads, good weather and strong winds is ideal preparation for Wiggo as everyone will attest the best ‘training’ is racing.

  • Bob Smith

    Yes, he is Dutch

  • Bob Smith

    why?? don’t the pedals need to be turned on a TT bike?? a more or less equal test on similar road bikes says a lot about current form of the top riders at the moment…

  • Bob Smith

    Former pursuit world champion not good at short distances??? are you serious??

  • Bob Smith

    did you see last years race?? He was super on the cobbles, lack of tactics cost team sky a possible victory

  • Ed

    Niki Terpstra is not a Belgian..

  • eminusx

    Totally agree, struggle to see the point of such short time trials to be honest, I think there should be a minimum of perhaps 15 or 20k, 10k just seems pointless. Over such s short time period for the tour it’s ovious why they do it, but it just seems useless even being there.

  • Paul Jakma

    10 kilometres is a short prologue, which is not what Bradley Wiggins is good at.

  • J-Wagon

    9th place at 20 seconds in the 2014 Paris Roubaix would suggest he can.

  • We just have to hope he can handle the cobbles.

  • Jonathan Seyghal

    The fact it was on a standard bike really means no solid conclusions can be taken.

  • Michael

    it’s lucky Stephen was able to point this out – otherwise Brad might have just coasted the next 9 weeks