Disaster for Wiggins
And other news from cycling's front lines
British cycling phenom and 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, aka “Wiggo,” has withdrawn from the Tour de Suisse after a nasty crash during stage four left his right thigh and knee badly bruised. Yesterday’s accident decreases the Olympian’s chances of being selected to ride in next month’s Tour de France. Team Sky, of which Wiggins is a member, has nine more spots to fill, and the emphasis will be on creating the optimal supporting cast for last year’s champion, Chris Froome.
As Cycling News reports, Wiggins was already skeptical about his chances before Tuesday’s crash. Earlier this month, he told the BBC, “I am gutted. I feel I am in the form I was two years ago. Now if I want to go to the Tour again, the reality is that I might have to go elsewhere.”
To his credit, Wiggins did get back on his bike after crashing, finishing stage four 11 minutes, 55 seconds behind winner Mark Cavendish.
In other cycling news, Belkin announced yesterday that it is withdrawing its sponsorship of the elite Dutch team that has borne its name for the past 18 months (previously the team was sponsored by Rabobank). According to VeloNews, the California-based consumer electronics company cited a shift in marketing priorities as the reason for the withdrawal. For the team, the timing of the announcement is less than stellar, as it must now scramble to find a new sponsor for the Tour de France, which kicks off July 5.
Finally, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pushing for harsher measures to be taken against Johan Bruyneel, former manager of defrocked cycling deity Lance Armstrong. The Belgian coach was given a 10-year ban from all sporting activity in April in a decision passed down by the American Arbitration Association. Apparently for WADA, which banned Armstrong for life, this punishment was far too lenient.