Bradley Wiggins won his first Tour de France stage yesterday in Besançon wearing a custom skinsuit that Sky designed with the race organiser's and cycling federation's approval.
The team of marginal gains planned for the yellow kit months in advance in case Wiggins would be leading the race in one of the key time trials. "He has the right to ride in his own kit," Event Director Jean-François Pescheux told Cycling Weekly, "so did Lance Armstrong and Miguel Indurain."
Sky played down the kit yesterday after Wiggins won the time trial. Sky's Head of Business Operations, Fran Millar worked with ASO to prepare a team model. However, she was tight-lipped when approached yesterday about it, referring the questions to ASO.
Wiggins, just 24 hours earlier, failed to give any clues away. He explained that he thought he would be riding in the race issue Le Coq Sportif skinsuit instead of his usual custom Adidas model.
"To be honest, I haven't really thought about it," he said in a press conference. "I guess it's Le Coq Sportif, they made the kit, so..."
When speaking to our sister title Cycle Sport in March, he said that he hoped to be in his own Adidas skinsuit. "I'll hopefully not be in the jersey so I can wear my team skinsuit," Wiggins told said at the time. "Just a couple of seconds off the lead, hopefully behind someone who's s**t at time trialling."
Wiggins leads by 1-53 minutes over Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) after the first 41.5km time trial in which he beat the Australian by 1-43 minutes. They still have six mountain stages through the Alps and Pyrenees before the next 53.5km time trial.
The Tour organiser, ASO was less accomodating last month in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Wiggins led the race and time trialled in the obligatory race-issue yellow kit. At the time they offered him a small, medium or large kit - he selected medium. Although Wiggins won there too Team Sky pushed ahead for its own yellow kit.
"Sky asked ASO to design its own kit, respecting the logos. The problem is it is difficult to check, there can be a problem in terms of colour or with the logos incorrectly sized," ASO race official, François Lemarchand told Cycling Weekly at the Dauphine.
"They will be given all the details, maybe they will show up with a skinsuit, but it will be a last moment decision... If Sky does it, then the whole world will want to do it. Everyone has to be on the same level."
Pescheux did not say when the decision was made, indicating that the possibility had always been there since the days of Indurain.
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Brailsford: Sky on the front for Cav and Wiggins
Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list
Tour 2012: Who will win?
Tour de France 2012 provisional start list
Tour de France 2012 team list
Tour de France 2012: Stage reports
Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT
Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks
Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage
Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage
Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades
Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes
Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne
Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory
Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt
Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second
Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs
Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles
Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour's time trials
CW's Tour de France podcasts
Blog: Tour presentation - chasing dreams and autographs
Comment: Cavendish the climber
Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries
Stage nine by Graham Watson
Stage eight by Graham Watson
Stage seven by Graham Watson
Stage six by Graham Watson
Stage five by Graham Watson
Stage four by Graham Watson
Stage three by Graham Watson
Stage two by Andy Jones
Stage two by Graham Watson
Stage one by Graham Watson
Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones
Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler
Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2012: Team presentation
Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce
Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage
Stage six live coverage
Stage five live coverage
Stage four live coverage
Stage three live coverage
Cycling Weekly's live text coverage schedule
Tour de France 2012: TV schedule
ITV4 live schedule
British Eurosport live schedule
Tour de France 2012: Related links
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
Brief history of the Tour de France
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever
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