Road World Championships: Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky go for gold


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The Independent Online

Team Sky, spearheaded by Olympic gold medallists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, are targeting gold in today’s men’s team time trial which kicks off the Road World Championships here.

The team won bronze last year, but with just six riders permitted for each of the 32 men’s trade teams taking part – three fewer than the equivalent team time trial stages in, say, the Tour de France – the small squads will make an exceptionally long (57 kilometres) and technically challenging course round this remote town in northwest Spain even more riven with potential pitfalls, particularly if, as is forecast, it rains.

“Taking a top-three result in 2013 is very encouraging for this year, particularly as time-wise last year we weren’t so far behind the first two,” Sky’s sports director for the event, Nicolas Portal, says. “This year a podium result is  possible, and why not even gold?

“Team time trialling is something Sky have  always done well in. It’s a sign of our overall strength here that all of the riders racing for Sky in the team time trial will then go on to race in the rest of these Worlds with their national selections.”

Portal highlighted the influence of Wiggins, saying: “His presence is always very important for the team – he’s the kind of rider whose knowledge of racing time trials is so great he can even make up for any small errors made by the rest.”

Portal named defending champions Omega Pharma-Quick Step as the team to beat. But  Orica-GreenEdge of Australia and Swiss squad BMC are also top contenders.