Team Sky’s objective is clear ahead of the first day in the Tour de France’s high mountains: help Bradley Wiggins up the classification.
The team lost its second place overall on Saturday’s stage seven, when Geraint Thomas dropped behind the main leaders on the climb to Station des Rousses. Wiggins, though, gained three places in the classification and underscored the team’s objective for the Tour de France.
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“We did everything right, we didn’t expend any more energy than we needed to,” said sports director, Sean Yates. “We didn’t lose any time with Bradley, which was the main objective.”
Wiggins is two minutes and 35 seconds behind overall leader Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), but only one minute and 10 seconds behind best place classification rider, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).
Evans sits second overall, where Geraint Thomas (Sky) was placed prior to Saturday’s stage. Thomas struggled on the Croix de la Serra climb and then lost time on the final climb to Station des Rousses.
“G just couldn’t maintain his contact with the bunch,” said Yates. “Not that he would have got the yellow jersey anyway.”
Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen also suffered and lost nearly 19 minutes.
“The combination of the heat and the stress of the first week, took its toll. You could see by the size of the bunch at the finish that there were a few guys in the same boat.”
Wiggins and the rest of the Tour de France’s riders will face the race’s first high mountain stage on Sunday. The day ends with a 13.6-kilometre climb to Morzine, but also features the 14.3-kilometre Ramaz climb near the finish.
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