Briton reveals attention to detail as the secret of success
As Team Sky celebrated winning the Tour of Qatar team time trial and posed for photographs on the podium, Bradley Wiggins was especially happy to have won with the new team and let out an ironic shout of "Sky Rules!"
Someone in the crowd replied with "Sky's the limit" and every one of the riders laughed as they savoured their third success of the season following two wins in Australia.
The Tour of Qatar marked Wiggins' debut in Team Sky colours. Wearing the all-white British national time trial champion's skinsuit, he stood out from the other riders in black Team Sky kit and played a big part in bringing the team home and inspiring his younger teammates.
Wiggins has tasted success with the British Cycling team on the track. Now that same mentality and attention to detail has been applied to a professional squad, and Team Sky showed how vital it can be in technically difficult events like team time trials.
"This was our objective, we came here to win this. Anything but a win would have been really disappointing," Wiggins said after the team's fast ride.
"That's what this team is about. We specialise in putting game plans together for an event that is so controllable in so many ways. The Tour Down Under was a fantastic start and now this is where the big boys come out to play."
"We really analysed the wind in the last few days and we had a game plan for that. At every one of the seven roundabouts, everyone knew where they had to be on the road. We kept saying truck and trailer. Whoever was driving the juggernaut was thinking about the rear end of it too and making sure there was room for eight guys across the road in the wind."
"It's all little bits of attention to detail, instead of thinking, 'We'll just go flat out and it's only the Tour of Qatar'. I think the approach and the process is important for everyone. We did that, we executed and we won the bike race. For us this was important. Cycling's about wining bike races."
After the criticism, a response on the road
Wiggins was criticised during the winter for wanting to quit his contract with Garmin and ride for Team Sky. In a biting soccer analogy, he had responded by comparing Garmin to minor British soccer team Wigan, while describing Team Sky as Manchester United.
He replied word for word to recent comments by former Garmin teammate David Millar, but was also happy to let the result on the road do the talking.
"What a great start. After all the bullshit, after all the ifs and buts, he said this, he said that. To get on the road in a Sky skinsuit and do a performance like that, sums everything up," Wiggins said.
"After all that Wigan and Manchester United stuff, we've just won the Champion's League."
Maybe the first stage at the Tour of Qatar is not the Champions League, but it was still a very impressive start to Wiggins' season.
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