What a difference a year makes if you’re Sir Bradley Wiggins. Just 12 months ago the
Sky superstar was languishing in freezing, rain-soaked Italy, whereas last weekend he was revelling in 100-degree heat with a masterful victory in the Tour of California.
It’s good to have the old Brad back — we’ve missed him. Our man salvaged last season with late-found fitness netting him the Tour of Britain and silver in the World Championship time trial. But days later he disappointed all with a lacklustre performance in the Worlds road race, climbing off before the real action had even begun.
This year is different. We saw a glimpse of the super form from 2012 in Paris-Roubaix. It’s no mean feat to be the first Tour de France winner to finish in the top 10 at Roubaix for 22 years but more importantly he really could have won.
“There’s a twinge of disappointment because I really had the legs,” he reminisced after his ninth place. “Even in the final I felt strong, but there was a part of me pinching myself a little bit.”
There were no mistakes in California; his time trialling was unrivalled and his climbing is back to Tour-winning standards.
So will he make the Sky Tour team? It would now be ridiculous to imagine not and that’s probably Bradley’s biggest win of the past 12 months.
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly
Bradley Wiggins seals overall victory in the Tour of California