Sir Bradley Wiggins has decided to miss next week’s Tour of Catalonia in order to work on his climbing technique.
The 2012 Tour de France champion was scheduled to compete in the stage race as the domestique of Sky team-mate Chris Froome, but he felt a period of specialised training would be more beneficial.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist is targeting Paris-Roubaix on 13 April, the Tour of California in May and then the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de France later in the summer, and is keen to fine-tune his form ahead of those races.
The 33-year-old told teamsky.com: “We have now changed the programme in order to ensure that I keep moving forward. Having spoken to the coaches, we have decided that I would benefit a lot more from a couple of weeks of hard training to work on my climbing before coming back for Paris-Roubaix – all with a view to being in good form for the Tour of California, the Critérium du Dauphiné, and making the Tour team.
“This block was probably something I was going to end up missing out on this year due to the congestion in the race schedule, but this is now an opportunity for me to knuckle down and improve in every area.”
Wiggins has endured a frustrating 2014 season so far, finishing well down the general classification at both the Ruta del Sol in Spain and Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy this week.
There was reason to cheer at Tirreno-Adriatico, though, after he picked up his first podium of the year in the final-stage time trial by finishing third behind the winner, Adriano Malori, and Fabian Cancellara.
Wiggins insisted, however, the result could have been even better: “I’m still getting used to quite a few changes we have made on the bike. There were just a couple of little things... which went wrong.”