Bradley Wiggins believes that Team Sky can benefit from their position of Classics favourites after Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara were both ruled out through injury. Wiggins, returning to the Classics at Gent-Wevelgem after skipping E3 Harelbeke through illness, told Cyclingnews that the loss of Cancellara and Boonen, “changes everything.”
Boonen crashed in Paris-Nice and dislocated his left collarbone, while Cancellara fell during E3 Harelbeke and fractured two vertebrae.
“QuickStep are like a different team without Tom,” Wiggins told Cyclingnews at the start of Gent-Wevelgem.
“They’re like rabbits in the headlights and they all think that they can win or have a chance. He was the gel that kept it all together. He’s not there now and Fabian has gone too, so someone like Thomas is probably the favourite for Flanders. Everyone is going to be looking at us and the emphasis falls on us. That could play into our hands because we’re used to doing that.”
Wiggins heads into the main block of the Classics with his eyes firmly on Paris-Roubaix, which will be his final race for Team Sky before he embarks on a new project with his WIGGINS team.
“The form is alright and it’s gone well over the last few days. I was a bit sick last Monday and decided to sack Friday off just for precaution more than anything, so it was never planned for me to ride this race. I think the training has gone well though and we’ll find things out in the next couple of weeks.”
“We have a role today for Elia Viviani and he’s showed he can match the best so we’ll have to support him but to do that we’ll all have to be there in the final. There’s no point pulling your weight for 60km and then being dropped.”
“For Roubaix the aspirations are still the same, to do as well as possible. We have so many guys who could be up there. We could have four guys in the final of Roubaix, which is incredible for this team.”