Bradley Wiggins goes into Wednesday’s London 2012 time trial with 250km of racing in his legs from Sunday, but after the experience of the Tour de France, he’s confident he can cope.
“We’ve just been at Tour for a month, hanging around the podium, standing up, doing press conferences. Some days we had a couple of hours drive in the bus.” Wiggins said. “You’ve got a 250km race and three days to recover on your backside in a nice hotel.”
“The Tour’s a great ‘worse case scenario’ for giving you confidence for the Games.”
Wiggins won both time trials in this year’s Tour, and is a genuine medal contender, if not out-right favourite, for the Olympic TT. During the Tour’s first time trial, 41.5km from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon he beat Sky trade and national team mate Chris Froome by 35 seconds and Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara by 57 seconds.
Current time trial world champion Tony Martin (Germany) was two minutes 16 seconds down after breaking his wrist in a crash on stage one.
In the Tour’s final 53.5km time trial, on the penultimate day of the race, Wiggins again beat Chris Froome, this time by one minute 16 seconds. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain) was third. Both Fabian Cancellara and Tony Martin had retired from the race by that point. ”That last time trial was the best I’ve ever done in terms of numbers, and we had some tough days before that.”
Usually a Tour rider would head striaight home after three weeks’ of racing, and switch off. A few post Tour crits might be in order, but they’re for entertainmnet not out-and-out racing.
Once a rider switches off, their performance can plummet, their diet and discipline becomes less strict and their body relaxes. Knowing that the Games followed a few days on from the Tour, the British riders have stayed ‘in the zone’.
Team Sky Chef Soren Kristiansen is with the British team, making their food, as are the legions of coaching staff that provide the back-up the riders need so they don’t experience a dip in performance.
“Everyone’s in great shape,” said GB performance director Dave Brailsford. “The Danger at the Tour is going in to descendency. But everyone’s come out better than they went in. The question is managing fatigue. They look well and they’ve ridden the Tour knowing [they’ll race the Olympics].”
“Allow [Wiggins] to taper and freshen up and with the rebound affect he can be very confident of being on top of his game.”
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