CW’s British performances of 2011: No. 7

Number 7: Wiggins sets it up for Cavendish at the Worlds
Copenhagen, September

One of the most frequently asked questions in the aftermath of the World Championships was: Why didn’t anyone attack properly on the last lap? Why did they all wait for the sprint?

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There’s a simple answer. It was down to the searing pace set by Bradley Wiggins, who used his time trialling skills to make it nigh-on impossible to get away.

Sure, Fabian Cancellara or Philippe Gilbert or one of the other danger men could have tried something but what would they have achieved? They’d have pushed themselves into the red getting away and as soon as they lost a little bit of pace, they’d have been reeled in again.

The thing about the way Wiggins rode was that it was like his effort on the Collet d’Allevard in the Dauphiné. Nothing and nobody else mattered. Wiggins was just in the zone, setting his pace the way he wanted to, knowing that if anyone did attack it would change nothing, he would just keep the intense speed up until the escapee faded and was recaptured.

As a tactic it was so, so simple, yet devastatingly effective.

And it mustn’t be overlooked that Wiggins was not doing it for personal glory, he was doing it for a team-mate.

Related links

Cycling Weekly’s British performances of 2011 advent calendar