Team Sky’s Dave Brailsford took victory in the Giro d’Italia in his stride, saying that it was the result of all the planning and preparation done behind the scenes.
The team principal said: “I’ve started to get a bit more hands on with the whole thing. We work quite hard on things like this. We’ve got spreadsheets and databases and we have lots of staff meetings but when it all comes together you appreciate that level of detail. So you can see why we have all these meetings and do all the planning because it works.
“Brad Wiggins can win big races like this if he really goes for it. If you look over the recent years for Brad, a lot of prologues he’s come second or third so we thought ‘Let’s really put our minds to it’. A time trial like this is probably a lot closer to what we’re used to. We’re on home ground here, we’re on comfortable territory.
“The thing was, we wanted to be in a position where Brad could say at the end of today that he couldn’t have done any better on the day. I think he can say that and fortunately it was good enough.”
Asked how it compares with his other achievements, Brailsford said: “I’ve had some fantastic moments in cycling but at the time you often don’t take two seconds to think about it. So I’ve taken a little walk, just five minutes away, to think about it. Yeah, it’s right up there.
“What I like, though, is that as a team, we went to our first ever race, okay, it was a small race, a crit [the Cancer Council Classic in Adelaide in January] and we won it. Today is our first day at a Grand Tour and we’ve won here. We’ve really thought about if for a long time, probably to the detriment of other races really. But it’s very satisfying, all working together, helping to develop a bike [the new Pinarello Graal] and getting all the details right. The backroom staff, the way everyone has worked, has been fantastic. It’s come off today, we’ve done our jobs and it’s just nice to know. It’s nice to take it all in.”
Brailsford said the team wouldn’t be celebrating tonight. “No, no, no. Not at all. Not even a question of it. We came here to win the pink jersey, we’ve done that, so now we see what we have to do tomorrow. I’ll write up a battle plan for tomorrow and we’ll present it and everyone will be very clear about what we’re doing. There’s some tricky stages coming up with the crosswinds, so it’s going to be hard but we’re defending a lead in a Grand Tour and that will be a first for us tomorrow. The team are ready for it and it’s going to be fun.”
Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
2010 Giro d’Italia coverage in association with Zipvit