Sky pushes ahead at Tour, regardless of Wiggins' placing

Team Sky chase, Tour de France 2010 stage 2

Team Sky is keeping its faith in Bradley Wiggins with only four more days before Sunday, when the Tour de France finishes in Paris.

"What we said at the start, we are going to go there and make sure he commits 100 percent," explained team boss, David Brailsford. "If that is good enough for 10th or even 50th - great - because if he can't do anymore there is not a lot you can do."

Wiggins was touted as a contender for the Tour de France podium this year. However, he has consistently lost time in mountains: losing six minutes in the Alps and 10 minutes in the first three days of the Pyrenees.

He currently sits 21st overall with the last day in the Pyrenees to race today.

Last year, Wiggins finished fourth overall racing for Jonathan Vaughters team Garmin.

"When you are touted as a potential Tour winner, that just leads to a lot of distraction," Vaughters said yesterday.

"He can handle athletic pressure, think about the Olympics. You're sitting there a minute leading up to your start in the Olympic pursuit and the gold medal, there does not exist any more pressure than that in life. That it is a day or two of intense pressure, but this is grinding day after day. I just think that is hard of him."

Wiggins left Vaughters' American team at the end of last season to take the unique opportunity of leading a British team at the Tour de France. Sky's stated goal is to win the Tour de France with a British rider in its first five years and to encourage a million more British people to take to their bikes.

"We have a British team in the Tour; we have some young British riders. Okay, Bradley might not be running fourth, but he is not a million miles away," Brailsford continued.

"Why did Sky get involved in pro cycling? This idea of getting a million people cycling. Are we inspiring anybody? Are we creating any heroes for the kids on the side of the road?

"The number of British flags and the number of Sky tops - it is phenomenal. I am blown away by that. Certainly, it is working, getting more people involved in cycling."

Wiggins is encouraged by the support, too, even if he may not show it with his cool exterior. He does crack a smile when he hears the Brits cheering for him every morning at the team bus.

He is encouraged to keep pushing in this Tour de France and for the coming years.

"I've just been struggling whenever we get within 4K of the top of these mountains and a lot of that is to do with heat tolerance and altitude," said Wiggins.

"It's been the limiting factor and something we can look at next year."

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Armstrong has his last go in the Tour

Tour's points leader Petacchi investigated for doping

Contador issues video apology to Schleck

Millar searches horizon for Eiffel Tower

Schleck-Contador friendship turns sour after chain problem

Wiggins at 2010 Tour: "I haven't got it"

Basso wins Tour's acceptance; podium spot next goal

Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds

Can Cav win without Renshaw?

Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour's top

Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish's win

Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour

Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?

Cavendish in a 'must win' situation for Tour's green jersey

Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut

Roche alongside Tour's top men ahead of Pyrenees

Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?

Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Rest day review (July 21)

Stage 16: Fedrigo takes tough Pyrenean stage

Stage 15: Victorious Voeckler continues fine Franch Tour as Contador takes yellow jersey

Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win

Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban

Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks

Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour

Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race

Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day

Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour's white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour 2010 wallpaper

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 gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage 16 video highlights

Stage 15 video highlights

Stage 14 video highlights

Stage 13 video highlights

Stage 12 video highlights

Stage 11 video highlights

Stage 10 video highlights

Stage nine video highlights

Stage eight video highlights

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special


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