Sir Bradley Wiggins to skip Volta a Catalunya and undergo block of training instead
Last Updated: 26/03/14 4:27pm
Sir Bradley Wiggins will skip next week’s Volta a Catalunya in order to undertake a climb-specific block of training.
The 33-year-old had been pencilled in to ride the seven-day Spanish stage race in support of Chris Froome, but Team Sky’s coaches and Wiggins have together decided a specialised training programme would be of more benefit.
Wiggins is targeting Paris-Roubaix on April 13, the Tour of California in May and then the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de France later in the summer, and is keen to fine-tune his form ahead of those races.
He told teamsky.com: “We have now changed the programme in order to ensure that I keep moving forward. Having spoken to the coaches, we have decided that I would benefit a lot more from a couple of weeks of hard training to work on my climbing before coming back for Paris-Roubaix – all with a view to being in good form for the Tour of California, the Criterium du Dauphine, and making the Tour team.
“This block was probably something I was going to end up missing out on this year due to the congestion in the race schedule, but this is now an opportunity for me to get some good training under my belt and concentrate on improving in every area.”
Wiggins had been poised to perform the role of Froome’s climbing domestique at the Volta a Catalunya, nursing him to the bottom of the key climbs before peeling off.
However, Tim Kerrison, Team Sky’s head of athlete performance, feels a structured block of training will help Wiggins the most at this stage of the season.
He said: “Whilst Catalunya would have given Bradley a guaranteed workload, by taking him out of a racing environment and into a training environment we can have much more control over that workload – making sure the training he does in that block is as specific to his needs as possible.”
Wiggins has eased his way into the 2014 season to date, playing a support role to Team Sky team-mates and thus not contesting the general classification at both the Ruta del Sol in Spain and Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy.
Reason to cheer
There was reason to cheer at Tirreno-Adritatico, though, after he picked up his first podium of the year in final-stage time trial by finishing third behind winner Adriano Malori and Fabian Cancellara.
Wiggins insisted the result could have been even better. He said: “I’m still getting used to quite a few changes we have made on the bike. I have moved to electronic gearing and I flicked it accidentally on the start line and it changed to the little ring as I rolled down the start ramp. There were just a couple of little things like that which went wrong.
“I maybe lost a few seconds there and perhaps lost second place, but I think the win was a bit beyond me. Malori had a great day. I was pleased with how I felt physically after a pretty hard week’s racing. Now it is about taking the next step.”
The Volta a Catalunya takes place from March 24-30.