Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford says that there is no reason why Bradley Wiggins can’t triumph at Paris-Roubaix, as the 34-year-old prepares to ride his final stage race for the team at Paris-Nice.
The British based team have recorded more wins than ever at this point of the season. Chris Froome took overall victory at the Ruta del Sol in mid-February and Geraint Thomas likewise at the Volta ao Algarve, while Ian Stannard roared to victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad towards the end of the month.
And Brailsford believes Wiggins is ready to help continue that trend of success in his farewell season with Sky, which he hopes will climax with victory at the Hell of the North.
“Bradley has been an iconic figure for us in Team Sky and for British cycling,” Brailsford told Sky Sports News.
“He’ll start this weekend in the Paris-Nice stage race, in his last stage race for Team Sky. He’s won it before and he’s ready for it.
“Then we’ll go on Paris-Roubaix which will be his last race for Sky – a big one-day classic and he’s ready for that too. It’ll be sad to see him go, that’s for sure.
“There’s no reason why he can’t go out with a win. He’s prepared well, he’s focused well and when he does that, he’s terrific with preparation. He needs a big stage to perform and Paris-Roubaix is certainly that.”
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While 2014 didn’t start badly for Team Sky, the rest of the season began to slip away from the high standards they’ve set for themselves since their inception in 2010.
Hard work in the off-season is the remedy to that says the former director of British Cycling, who is also relishing the prosepect of an in-form Froome coming up against a line-up of Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador at the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race next week.
“It’s been our best start to the season ever. We’ve had more victories at this point of the year than we’ve ever had so it’s been a terrific start,” said Brailsford.
“Last year wasn’t the year we had the previous couple of years so we worked very hard through the off-season winter to regroup and reset our goals. Everybody’s coming out fighting and the results are starting to come from the right work.
“[Tirreno] is a big race because in general there are four outstanding candidates for the Tour de France. Chris and Contador have already locked horns and Chris managed to come out on top but now we’ve got Nibali and Quintana in the mix.
“It’s a big battle with the first between the four and hopefully we can come out on top. The way to think about it is you want fierce competition. It brings the best out. We know we need a tough competition to bring the best out of ourselves.”