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Giro d'Italia / Tour de France

From Distant Shores

Forever Jesus Sanjuan
Jan 21, 2011
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Good news for Wiggo! Ivan Basso has a cyst on his buttocks and can't ride the Giro. (Though he hasn't been in good form so far from what I've seen on the telly.)
I have been looking at the Giro route and am a little surprised Wiggo is targeting it and Le Tour is more for Froome. Yes there is a decent amount of time trial mileage which will suit but some of the mountain stages (the one finishing at the top of the Galibier, the day they go over the Stelvio and the Gavvia, and the Passo Giau stage immediately spring to mind) are absolutely brutal.
I can't believe that Wiggo targeting the Giro is purely his own choice. I'd guess Dave Brailsford has some scientifically worked out plan for Wiggo.
I looked at the tour route that is supposedly made for Froome rather than Wiggins, and I am not completely convinced

2 days in the Pyrenees (1 mountain finish, the second day with 5 climbs but a descent into the finish - no tourmalet either boooooo)
1 day up to Mont Ventoux (bastard hard climb I admit)
Alps 3 days of serious climbing, admittedly, but only the day with 2 goes up Alpe D'Huez is screaming specialist climber to me.

The tour route isn't as mountainous as I was hoping.
I think it ultimately comes down to the fact that Sky will feel that they can win both races. The Giro will either be Wiggo or Nibali IMO (and I think Wiggo will take more time out of Nibali in that long TT than Nibbles will manage to take out of Brad in the mountains) and I would say that Froome has been the strongest GC contender so far this season. He will be confident of winning the Tour on whichever route.

Really looking forward to the Giro, the classics are fun but Grand Tours bring a whole new dimension of narratives.
Does anyone think that Wiggins will not back down on his stated aim of winning the Giro and defending the Tour title and risk dividing the team or do they think it's just some paper talk to boost interest?
I think that they will let them both get on with it. If Wiggins is in front or is best placed in the team then they will protect him however if Froome wants to go on his own, like he had a couple of opportunities to do last year then there will be no team orders to stay back.
Does anyone think that Wiggins will not back down on his stated aim of winning the Giro and defending the Tour title and risk dividing the team or do they think it's just some paper talk to boost interest?

I think he genuinely thinks that the 'road will decide' who takes team leadership. I haven't had a close look at the Tour route yet (so maybe Paddy can answer this one) but I have a feeling there is a TT before any real climbing. Wiggins will look at that and think, I could be in yellow here, then they have to ride for me. Froome would probably then have free reign to attack him though this time. Either way, I can't see either riding for the other and I am pretty certain they will both start. It will be VERY interesting to watch, especially when you throw Contador, Rodriguez, Van Garderen, Quintana, Cadel, Porte (!) and others into the mix.
There is a team time-trial in the first week, but only about 25k long. The first individual time trial is after the pyrennees and runs from Avranches to Mont St Michel. Not very long, very flat, and as I remember that road very, very straight.
Sky win the team time trial by a few seconds. Brad takes about 20 secs out of Nibali and Evans. Not sure how that sits for the overall but a good start for the tour for Sky.
It's all about power meters with Wiggins, he'll be cranking it up a touch while the others go into the red and cut his losses when they're recovering.

Looking forward to stage 15 up the Galibier, bit of a recce as I'm heading up it during the week the Tour is in town.

A little bit excited :)
You do know that the Galibier is an absolute bastard of a long slog don't you????

I would rather do Alpe D'Huez I think! Shorter and sharper than the 30k of agony that is the Galibier.
Yep, not sure which side we're doing it from yet. Easy (!) side makes the most sense logistically, but the lure of the Telegraph is also very tempting. We also have the d'Izoard pencilled in, not on the same day though!

Grand finale is the Alpe itself on the morning of the Tour stage.

Going to be some sore legs that week :)
Just catching up on today's TT, good result for Sky.

Expected better from Garmin, think they've had some pretty impressive TT's lately?
Garmin were poor. Wiggo is already in a good place but we wait and see what happens when the road gets bumpy.
Froome confirmed as Sky's lead rider for the TdF; Wiggins second in the Giro. With regard to the Giro, what are people's thoughts on the time bonuses awarded for winning a stage? Good or bad? I'm not sold on it at the moment.
It always used to be there in the TDF but they dropped it a few years ago. When you have all the favourites break away it can have some value as they will fight it out for the extra few seconds of bonus but it feels rather artificial.

Good stage today - Hesjadal was excellent and very fiesty.