Wiggins back after ‘good kicking’

World Road Championships, Florence

  • Dates: Sunday, 22 September – Sunday, 29 September

Coverage: Women’s time trial (Tue), men’s time trial (Wed), women’s road race (Sat) and men’s road race (Sun) live on BBC Two, Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only). Live text commentary on BBC Sport website of men’s time trial, women’s road race and men’s road race

Former Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman says Sir Bradley Wiggins will be near his best at this week’s Road World Championships after getting “a good kicking” so far this year.

Injury and illness meant Wiggins

had to drop out of the Giro d’Italia

in the spring and

missed the chance to defend his Tour de France title

in July.

Boardman said: “Brad’s had a turbulent year, but he needed it.

“Nothing motivates winners more than a good kicking.”

Wiggins’ turbulent year

6 May

– told that Chris Froome will lead Team Sky at the 2013 Tour de France

17 May

– withdraws from the Giro d’Italia due to illness

31 May

– pulls out of Tour de France due to illness and injury

27 July

– admits he couldn’t watch Froome’s Tour win

22 September

– wins the Tour of Britain

Wiggins showed a return to form as he

won the Tour of Britain on Sunday

and will compete in the elite men’s individual time trial at the Road World Championships in Tuscany, Italy on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old will also compete in the road race with Tour de France champion Chris Froome, sprint legend Mark Cavendish, double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas,

2012 Tour of Britain winner

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Steve Cummings, Josh Edmondson and Ian Stannard.

Lizzie Armitstead, who

won Team GB’s first medal at London 2012,

will compete in Saturday’s elite women’s road race alongside Nikki Harris, Lucy Garner and

team time trial winner Katie Colclough

.

Boardman, who won Britain’s first Olympic cycling gold for 72 years at Barcelona in 1992, reckons Wiggins will be in better shape after this year’s disappointments and is in good condition to compete in Florence.

“It certainly looks like he’s seen the light at the end of the tunnel after the Tour of Britain,” Boardman said.

“At the Tour of Britain he looked better and looked in the right frame of mind. The world championship time trial has come at the right time.

“Disappointment is the biggest motivator for successful people and he’s had a healthy dose of that this year.”

In 2012 Wiggins became

the first Briton to win the Tour de France

and

won his seventh Olympic medal with time trial gold in London

.

But Boardman reckons he struggled with increased expectations following his success.

“When you’re hungry and you eat, you’re not hungry any more”, said Boardman. “Everything he aimed for he got. But then there’s the realisation that next year the slate is wiped clean.

“Everyone else has got much bigger expectations. When you’re on the top step, you either win or you fail. There is no second place any more and that’s a wholly different type of pressure.”

Chris Boardman was talking to BBC Sport’s Tom Brown.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/24206765

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