What’s the skinny on Wiggins and his crazy yo-yo diet?
It’s going to be interesting to see if Sky’s Bradley Wiggins can pull off his weight gain, weight loss routine with any racing success.
Right now he’s fatting himself up so he can better handle the nasty stones of Paris-Roubaix. His thighs still won’t be as massive as those of his Roubaix rivals Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen but he won’t look like the emaciated Tour rider he once was.
Bike racers are always locked in a difficult struggle trying to keep their weight down. Retired doper Tyler Hamilton spoke of always being hungry and taking sleeping pills to go to bed without eating dinner. Sounded like misery, not to mention all the syringes and blood bags.
However, Sir Brad is doubling the degree of difficulty: he’s gaining weight in an effort to win Paris-Roubaix in April, then losing it in an effort to win the week-long Tour of California in May. As our screenwriting professor liked to say, that’s “no small task.”
“I’m kind of three-four kilos heavier than when I won the Tour so… My plan is, once Roubaix is done, to bring it down a bit more,” Wiggins said. “It’s one of those things not to be able to do everything but the goals have changed.”
By our calculations, that means that Wiggins will have less than a month to lose those 4 kilos (@9 pounds for those scoring in the States) — if he truly wants to win in California as he has been quoted in saying. That sure sounds like a yo-yo diet to us.
In our view, that’s not the only difficult plan Wiggins has made. He’s also decided to take what appears to be the same questionable path that his team Sky took a year ago with such disappointing results in preparation for the cobbled classics. He’s not racing, he’s training.
Wiggins has switched gears and is skipping this week’s Volta a Catalunya stage race in Spain this week and will only race Scheldeprijs before he brings his bigger body to the Hell of the North. We can’t help that might not be a wise choice. Europcar sports director Andy Flickinger said last season, ”To prepare for the classics you need to ‘eat’ stress and cobbles.”
Now Wiggins is certainly eating plenty of food to gain those four kilos but he’s not eating much cobbles. By contrast, Fabian Cancellara will race E3 Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders. He will be chowing down on the stones and who dares argue about diet with Spartacus?
The difference being, Cancellara has won in the Hell of the North three times while Wiggins’ best performance was 25th in 2009 while wearing his nice Garmin argyle suit.
Sir Brad says he’ll do a full recon of the last 100 kilometers of Paris-Roubaix. He’ll also probably spot at some cafe along the way for a sandwich, frites and a beer — gotta keep that weight up. However, his diet of stones will be rather meager.
So there you have it. Will the Wiggins Roubaix-California diet pay off. Me thinks not.