There was an interesting chat with Wiggins on cyclingnews.com today. At first read it sounds like Wiggins is defiantly going to try and and go for it (read the headline), but the when you watch the included video Wiggo is clear that Froome is the man for the tour and Sir Bradley is just hoping to squeeze on the podium. But putting the internal battles at Team Sky aside, I wonder if something like this is possible in this supposedly clean era.
Seven people have won the double and two of those have done it twice and (of course) Eddy did it three times.
- Fausto Coppi in 1949 and 1952
- Jacques Anquetil 1964
- Eddy Merckx 1970, 1972, 1974
- Bernard Hinault 1982, 1985
- Stephen Roche 1987
- Miguel Indurain 1992, 1993
- Marco Pantani 1998
Some say this is impossible in the modern era, but Wiggins and crew seem to think its possible. There was talk last year of Ryder Hesjedal being fitter at the tour than he was when he won the Giro. But its hard to tell if that’s just bluster, or if it was a reality that was stopped only by him crashing out. Its is worth noting that he crashed out six days into a three week stage race and we have no way of knowing what his form would have been like after the first week.
Another complicating factor is that there just isn’t the disparity in talent that there was in the pre modern era. It has been well documented that even Merckx’s closes competitors were still well below his level. They won their share, but really it was Merckx’s who was the “guiding light”. Technology and increased budgets have shrunk the gaps between the domestiuqe and team leader. The roles haven’t changed, but the training has. And, with all things cycling, you can’t ignore the dope factor. Just look at that list of folks above.
According to the Team Sky website, Wiggo has been hiding out from the media on Mallorca and doing rides up to eight hours, its going to take plenty of those in order to gain and hold onto the needed fitness for the five weeks between the grand tours.