This one sounds funny but let’s roll with it: Bradley Wiggins, sprinter.
A top rated contender for this year’s Tour de France, Wiggins continues to impress with his form and confidence. Already this season he’s won a tough Paris-Nice and picked up two time trial victories.
Today in the Tour of Romandie, Wiggins not only won the stage but showed he can even triumph even on a day marked for the sprinters. When his teammate, new father and World Champion Mark Cavendish was dropped on the category 2 Haut de la Côte, Wiggins said no worries.
He didn’t need a train or a lead-out — Wiggins simply went to the front with 500 meters and set such a destructive pace that he rode away from the sprinters. Scary stuff. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) and Paolo Tiralongo took second and third and probably decided Wiggins was super-human.
While other tour contenders struggle with illness, crashes, doping lay-offs, parasites and accidents, Wiggins’ build up for the 2012 Tour have gone almost too perfectly. Is he doing too much too soon?
He certainly has the legs but what’s changed this year is the head. After his third place in the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, Wiggins has reached in a new level in terms of confidence, race tactics and leadership. He’s also having fun — which is a huge change from the immense pressures he felt coming over to Sky and trying to replicate the form he had taking 4th in the 2009 Tour.
This season, the skinny Brit is smoking. After the win and Romandie today, his former boss Jonathan Vaughters tweeted: “Look at Cadel last year. Won Tirreno, won Romandie. When highly talented guys get a roll going, it’s hard to stop.”
There’s been plenty of criticism about the juggling act Sky will have to perform in Le Tour, supporting Cavendish for the green jersey and Wiggins for le maillot jaune. Twisted Spoke says it’s time to change the battle plan. Wiggins — he climbs, he time trials, he sprints. Maybe he should go for both yellow and green.