Relentless Bradley Wiggins takes charge in Tour of Catalonia opener
Team Sky rider finishes sixth after splitting pack
Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins provided his first real signs this year of race-winning form in the opening stage of the Tour of Catalonia.
On a seemingly uncomplicated stage, starting and finishing in the coastal resort of Calella, Wiggins single-handedly ripped the peloton into two uneven chunks with a surprisingly powerful drive at the front of the bunch, some 6km from the finish.
Thanks to the Briton’s relentless – and skilfully timed – acceleration on a downhill section, the Sky rider effectively forged a break of 13 riders including two team-mates, Dario Cataldo and David Lopez. When the baker’s dozen flashed across the finish line with a 28-second advantage on the pack, victory went to Belgian sprinter Gianni Meersman, with Wiggins in sixth. But concerning the overall classification of Catalonia, the Briton’s statement of intent could hardly have been clearer.
For Wiggins, the seven-day Catalan stage race is his first this year in the WorldTour league – cycling’s top division of races – and, according to Sky’s sports director Dan Hunt, the Briton aims to hit the ground running. In February, Wiggins raced in Mallorca, but was flying under the radar. And in the Tour of Oman, his role was purely as support for team-mate Chris Froome, who took the victory.
“We’re going to be trying to win here,” Hunt said, “and we’ve got the rider [Wiggins] to do it with.”
Latest in Sport
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...