Rolf Aldag no longer has an agenda or party line that demands he tell anything but the truth. The former HTC-Columbia DS has left the crazy and incestuous world of pro cycling for some kind of triathlon thing. It also appears he actually wants to see his family after ages away from home.
In any case, what that means is he’s about the only so-called expert with any credibility in discussing the Cavendish-Wiggins-Tour de France juggling act. He has no reason to deal with anything but the obvious facts.
Plenty of fools have weighed in with an opinion but they’re still in the pro cycling game or just plain stupid or desperate for attention. Aldag no longer has any people to approve his opinions or double check his quotes.
So when Aldag says problem at Sky, then we had best all pay close attention. It was pretty obvious to begin with but only Aldag came right out and said this doesn’t work, can’t work, Sky screwed.
“You can try but it’s gambling and it’s tricky for both the riders and the managers. One thing is obvious, if they believe that Wiggins can go for yellow they can’t compromise and give Cavendish four guys for the sprints. If they stretch it and think both riders have chance of achieving their goals, then honestly they don’t really believe in Wiggins,” Aldag told Cyclingnews.
Bang, no messing around, nail smashed on head. If Cavendish can pretty much guarantee four or five stage wins in the most famous race of the year, why ruin his chances hoping that skinny Bradley can avoid the carnage of the first ten days of the Tour and battle his way onto the podium?
In winning this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné and taking his first podium at the Vuelta, Bradley showed he’s made great progress. Still, the Tour is the Tour and Andy Schleck and (maybe, post-CAS) Alberto C0ntador have the first two spots locked up. Wiggins will fight a dozen riders for that third place.
That’s a big roll of the dice for Sky team manager David Brailsford and company. Personally, Twisted Spoke would rather take the inevitable four or five stage wins by Cavendish and call it another triumph.
“Sporting wise it’s not the best decision but it’s the safest. Since he’s been professional he’s had 100 per cent commitment from the team and they [Sky] just can’t do that. It would be wrong on Wiggins. They have a GC contender for the Tour so you can not bring eight guys to the Tour willing to work for one in that situation.”
Two egos the size of Cavendish and Wiggins aren’t likely to share. Nor are Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd at BMC. Teams with big budgets like to load up on star riders and insist they will somehow work things out later.
It generally doesn’t and Rolf Aldag knows that.