Bradley Wiggins admitted he is “not good” and feeling sick in the Giro d’Italia, opening the questions about his leadership abilities.
“I’m not very good at this moment. It’s been a pretty rough 24 hours,” Wiggins said.
“Most of the team have been ill so it’s hardly surprising I am. I have a chest infection and a bog-standard head cold. I’m trying to fight through it, and I think in a few days I’ll be OK.”
Wiggins, after stage 11 to Vajont in northeast Italy, was trapped at the finish line while waiting to descent to the team bus. He sat in a chair briefly before returning to his bike to ride down.
Asked if the Giro d’Italia is proving harder than the Tour de France, he said, “The Tour of Picardie is a hard race when you feel sick.”
Questions over leadership
Twenty-four hours earlier, Sky helper Rigoberto Urán attacked and rode free to win the first high-mountain stage to Altopiano del Montasio. Critics questioned whether Urán, who sits third at 2-04 minutes, just one second better than Wiggins, should lead the British super team.
“That’s the usual line to say when someone else wins besides Bradley,” helper Dario Cataldo told Cycling Weekly. “The tactic was decided in the morning for Rigoberto to attack on the Montasio stage, it went how we wanted.”
“Wiggins remains the number one captain, but we have options,” Sky’s other Italian, Salvatore Puccio added. “Urán’s move was a team tactic; we are trying to upset the balance.”
Wiggins said yesterday that he would consider working for Urán for the overall win.
“It depends how it plays out really,” Wiggins told journalists, including Cycling Weekly. He added, “He’s quite inconsistent” and could gain seconds one day and lose them the next.
Cataldo added that it is not about working, but about attacking.
“There’s a lot of use that can work, but in our position we are going to try to attack versus working,” he continued. “With me and Kanstantsin Siutsou, you can’t say that we are lacking in muscle.”
Puccio, who enjoyed the race lead for one day thanks to the team time trial win in Ischia, embraces the joint effort.
“We all have the same jersey, team Sky,” he added. “The goal is to keep team Sky’s name up front, whoever wins.”
The race continues tomorrow with a sprint stage to Treviso and a transition stage to Cherasco on Friday. On Saturday, when the stage visits Bardonecchia, we should have a clearer idea of Sky’s leader.
Giro d’Italia 2013: Previews and race info
Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage reports
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Photos by Graham Watson