Congratulations to Wiggo! He crushed the time trials, his team strangled the peloton in the mountains and he gave Cavendish two brilliant lead outs. Wiggins has gotten a lot of (somewhat deserved) shit this year from the press, but he did the proper thing by setting up the World Champ so he could do what he does best.
Team SKY ran the peloton like Lance’s Postal (minus the dope, I’m willing to believe) and like Big Mig’s Banesto team. In fact there were comparisons to the Indurian won his Tours. That’s limit losses in the mountains and destroying the time trials. However the Inner Ring points out that if you removed the TTs from the race Wiggian’s would still be in yellow. It is true that his stage wins came during the TT stages, but he was still at the front on all the mountain top finishes. He may not have won one of those stages, but he did finish in front of his competitors, which is how you win a grand tour.
SKY was built for this (Which is why its funny that Cav went there in the first place, but that’s for a different time and different sites.) The team was founded with the hope of bringing a British rider to the top step of the podium in Paris. They did that. I’m not convinced it was because of their focus on marginal gains, or because they have their own chef. Those things have been done before, despite what they’d have you believe. However, they are ushering in a new era of racing. On that is built around a stone faced approach to getting results. Which, while not something I go for. I much prefer the idea of racing for the sake of racing. Not for getting the job done.
Yes, there are grumblings about the fact that Schleck and Contador weren’t there. Two things about that — well three. One: You can only compete against the people who show up, and asking questions about how it could have been are useless, but good for page views and drama, which has its place. Two: Too many TT ks for a Schleck — any Schleck — to win the race. A stage, maybe. The race NO. Three: Maybe the race would have been more exciting if Contador had been there, which is useless speculation. We’ll have to wait till October when next year’s route is unveiled.
One last note, I know it won’t happen, but I would love to see SKY focus on not just winning the Tour, but the Vuelta and Giro as well. If Wiggo wants to be a great champion, then he needs to focus on more than three weeks in July. I also know I’m in the minority here.