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.
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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