Wiggins’s Giro future in doubt

Giro d’Italia

  • Dates: 4-26 May (13 and 20 May are rest days)

Coverage: Live commentary on the final hours of each stage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Sir Bradley Wiggins’s participation in the Giro d’Italia is in doubt after

he lost yet more time on stage 12.

The Team Sky rider, who is five minutes and 22 seconds down overall, has been suffering

from a chest infection

and will be assessed by doctors on Friday.

“If he’s over the worst and gets better then he’ll carry on,” said Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford.

“But if he’s getting worse then it will be up to the doctors and medics to make a call as to what’s best for him.”

The Giro d’Italia was a big target for Wiggins in 2013 as he sought to become the first British winner of the pink jersey.

Analysis



“Bradley Wiggins remains under the weather. He toughed it out but if his Team Sky team-mates hadn’t dropped back to help him, he would have lost several more minutes.

“At this point it doesn’t matter though. It’s all over. It’s going to take a miracle for him to turn it around and get any time back.

“There is no reason for him to continue if he’s unwell but if his health improves he needs to stay in because of the work he has done for the season.

“If he’s got any aspirations for the Tour de France, he has to do what’s right for that race as well.”

It took on even greater importance after Team Sky said team-mate

Chris Froome would lead the British outfit’s challenge

at the Tour de France this year.

The Englishman, 33, was one of the favourites for the road race in Italy having won the Tour de France and Olympic time trial gold in 2012.

But he has endured a difficult Giro so far, falling in wet conditions on

stage seven

and failing to deliver a victory in his specialist event – the individual time trial – on

stage eight.

The 33-year-old came home with his main rivals in stage 11, but was unable to respond when they injected a burst of speed towards the end of stage 12 – won by fellow Briton Mark Cavendish.

He is 13th in the Giro general classification, three minutes and 18 seconds behind Team Sky team-mate Rigoberto Uran in third, with leader Vincenzo Nibali a further two minutes and four seconds ahead.

Should he pull out, it will raise doubts over his challenge at the Tour de France, which starts on 29 June.

“He’s sick,” added Brailsford. “He’s developed a severe cold and chest infection. He battled that but it got worse overnight and we knew it was going to be an uphill battle today.

“It’s not like Bradley Wiggins to lose a wheel on the flat so we’ll see how it is. We’ll get back to the hotel and go from there. He’s fit enough. It’s not about fitness its about sickness – they are two very different things.

“If you’re sick you’re sick, there’s not a lot you can do about it. Once you are sick it’s a health issue.”

Whatever happens with Wiggins, Brailsford insisted Team Sky are still in a strong position in the Giro, with Uran well placed in third in the GC.

“We are in a great position in the race,” he said. “I think we have got a very strong team. They are all very motivated and they will continue to ride for Rigoberto, so the team doesn’t lose its purpose.

“When Bradley broke his collarbone in the Tour, that was quite a difficult thing to take on because the team lost its purpose because the team swapped from trying to get a result in the race to getting stage results, whereas here we still feel that we are competitive in the race.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/22562724

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