Bradley Wiggins finished 12 minutes 34 seconds behind stage winner and Giro d’Italia leader Danilo Di Luca in Pinerolo but as he got changed on the Garmin team bus, rather than disappointed, he was in some way relieved that he no longer had to fight for a place in the top 20 in the overall standings.
Wiggins? ability to climb with the leaders, and even drop Lance Armstrong, has made him one of the revelations of the first part of the Giro and someone for British cycling fans to cheer for on the climbs. But he is intelligent enough to see the bigger picture and know he has more important and more achievable goals, later in the Giro and at the Tour de France in July.
?It wasn?t actually too bad for me. The whole accumulation from the day made it hard but it was getting to everybody at the end.? he said coolly after racing for 262km in the Alps.
Wiggins is now 42nd at 17-39 and that is where he wants to be.
?If I stop and think about what I came to the Giro for, it was about a good time trial, maybe a stage win and to get ready for the Tour de France. I can?t forget that, no matter what happens,? he says.
?I?ve spoken to (Garmin team manager) Jonathan Vaughters about it. I was 27th overall before today and so if I get in the top 20 after the time trial, I might get tempted to go for a GC place. That would be great and I?ve taken a big step up in this race but I don?t want to get into the top 20 overall and then refuse to come out if it. I can?t end up in a body bag.?
?I?ve got to think about the Tour de France. The Tour is a lot more favourable for me in terms of GC. I?ll be riding for Christian but if I can scrape top 20 it?d be great and some of the guys think I could even do better than that because of the route. I might be getting a bit carried away but there aren?t any crazy finishes like this and the climbs aren?t as bad.?
?I?M NOT SUPERMAN?
Wiggins could probably have finished with the overall contenders, at only a minute behind Di Luca but he lost contact and sat up on the last Pra Martino climb, 15km from the finish.
?I got bad position at the start of the last climb but it was kind of an excuse for me to come out of the GC,? he said.
?We hit it as if it was the Cipressa during Milan-San Remo and I was a bit too far back. I?m not superman and so I sat up.?
Wiggins after stage 10: looking forward to Thursday’s time trial
RIGHT MENTAL STRENGTH FOR THE TT
Wiggins avoided putting himself in a GC hole and quickly began thinking about Thursday 60.6km time trial in the hilly Cinque Terre area south of Genoa.
It is perhaps one of the toughest time trials seen for decades in the Giro, requiring a full out effort for an hour and half. However, Wiggins is convinced he has the physical ability to handle the climbs in the first part and the bike handling skills for the technical second half. Most importantly he has right mental strength to push himself hard and get a result.
?I?m going to have a really good go. I could go top three or top five,? he says, clearly convinced.
?I?ve been thinking about the time trial since even before the rest day. I?m going to have a good shot at it, then pick a day in the last week to go for and then target the final time trial in Rome. I think that?s plenty to worry about for now.?
|Giro d’Italia 2009 links|
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Stage 10: Di Luca lays down the gauntlet
Giro rest day review (May 18)
Stage nine: Cavendish blitzes rivals to win in Milan
Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad
Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage
Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break
Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey
Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey
Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin
Stage nine photo gallery
Stage eight photo gallery
Stage seven photo gallery
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one photo gallery
Desktop wallpaper photos
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Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall
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Vande Velde crashes out of Giro
Petacchi claims he didn’t know of Cavendish crash
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Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial
Team time trial start times
Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia top ten prediction
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Wiggins in top form for Giro
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Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up
Armstrong’s special Giro bikes unveiled
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Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints
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Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d’Italia route
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2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features
Find the pink jersey competition
Giro d’Italia 2009: The Big Preview
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CW’s Giro top ten prediction
Brits in the Giro 2009
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2008 Giro d’Italia archive
Giro d’Italia 2008 coverage index – race reports, photos, results
From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Giro 2008: The final word on this year’s race
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Five days to go, what’s in store?
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Giro d’Italia 2008 preview