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Wiggins targets Giro pink jersey

By:
Gregor Brown
Published:
December 31, 2009, 13:05,
Updated:
December 31, 2009, 13:29
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 31, 2009
Brad Wiggins (Garmin Slipstream) was contemplating a car-park stoush with teammate Chris Sutton over who should win the tour, he was only joking ofcourse.

Brad Wiggins (Garmin Slipstream) was contemplating a car-park stoush with teammate Chris Sutton over who should win the tour, he was only joking...

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Sky's new signing aims for Giro time trials on path to Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins will return to next year's Giro d'Italia in May with the prologue and first leader's jersey as objectives . He will also help lead team Sky in the Italian three-week race while preparing for the Tour de France.

"I will be there and not only to prepare for the Tour. The Giro is an important race," Wiggins told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday. "I will aim for the prologue in Holland and the time trial in Verona."

Wiggins finished fourth overall at this year's Tour de France, 6'01" behind winner Alberto Contador (Astana), after riding the Giro d'Italia for a fifth time in his career. He had lost weight to become a better climber and used his existing time trial strength to achieve the result.

But Wiggins ruled out aiming for the general classification at the Giro d'Italia.

"In 2010, with respect to this year, I will concentrate on two goals: to do well at the Giro and for the Tour's classification," Wiggins said. "A decision is required: look at [Carlos] Sastre, who also aimed for the Giro, then went badly at the Tour."

The Giro d'Italia, taking place from May 8-30, starts in the Netherlands before travelling to the south of Italy. It ends with a mountainous final week in the Dolomites and Alps: the Zoncolan, Plan de Corones, Mortirolo and Gavia climbs will have to be tackled.

Wiggins believes he will have a chance to win the 8.4-kilometre opening time trial in Amsterdam and the final 15.3 km race against the clock that finishes in Verona's Arena. He said that team Sky could also take the pink jersey in the 32.5-kilometre team time trial on the fourth day of racing in Cuneo.

The Brit admitted the final week's climbs will be hard, but said he could also have a chance in the 12.9-kilometre Plan de Corones mountain time trail.

"They are climbs that are adapted to riders like [Franco] Pellizotti, who I consider the favourite for the 2010 Giro. I can be a challenger for the mountain time trial, a key stage."

Italy's Dario Cioni will lead Sky for the overall classification, said Wiggins.

David Brailsford's Sky team will make its debut in 2010. Brailsford formed the team over the last two years, confirming Wiggins' signing earlier this month. Wiggins left USA's Garmin one year before his contract was schedule to expire. After leaving Cofidis, High Road and Garmin, Sky is Wiggins' fourth team in four years.

"After Cofidis pulled out [of the 2007 Tour], for the positive of [Cristian] Moreni, Cavendish asked if I wanted to help in the sprints for High Road. I did not feel satisfied, so I transferred to Garmin for 2009, with more responsibility. The fourth place at the Tour coincided with the launch of team Sky, the first British team. It was a unique opportunity, with the same group that I won three Olympic gold medals. I had to go for it."

Wiggins, 29, is a three-time Olympic gold medallist. He won the individual pursuit at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and the individual as well as the team pursuit at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.