Feature Interview: Team Wiggins on Tour

Given a last minute slot in the Tour of Britain, team Wiggins is making the most of its opportunity with some aggressive riding and sprinting

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Feature Interview: Team Wiggins on Tour

Given a last minute slot in the Tour of Britain, team Wiggins is making the most of its opportunity with some aggressive riding and sprinting. In the Team Time Trial, they were the leading British UCI Conti team showing just how much they deserve their spot in the race.

Speaking to team manager Simon Cope at stage 4 of the race on Wednesday, he said it was great to get the ride. “We didn’t want to get in the way we did because it’s unfortunate that a team has folded and not been able to race it, but we have to grab the opportunity with both hands. We deserve to be here as do all five British conti teams deserve to be here.

Asked did the team and its riders feel a lot of pressure coming into the race, especially with all the chatter before the event about how they deserved a spot? “Yes, without a doubt and the lads have got on TV and got some good results with Gabz on day 1 and Tom on stage 3. The only unfortunate part of it has been the crash for Joey (Walker) and he’s at home now but it is a nasty cut he got so there was no way he could have carried on”.

I asked the former professional about the speed of the race and his insight. “They raced all day on stage 3 and it was real fast. Devon was hard too but until GC is established it will be quick and once the team time trial is done, we’ll see the GC sealed in Cumbria and the last couple of days should be controlled.”
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Tom Pidcock
Sitting next to Simon was a young rider going places and on stage 3, he lit the race up on the final climb, grabbing the KoM points and getting himself and his jersey on TV and helping establish a selection.

He admits, like he said on twitter, he probably got a little excited adding “I was feeling pretty good but probably should have just sat in and sprinted!”

Asked is it the biggest road race he’s done so far, Tom replied “it’s eight days and I have only done five day stage races so far but at the moment, it is alright and I’m going better than I was in Yorkshire. I am definitely more at the sharp end here. Like on the climb on stage 2, I was just behind that front group that got away with Alaphilippe so I am not far off but not there yet either”.

Finally, he says the racing in the Tour of Britain is giving him confidence and it will be interesting to see how he goes on the queen stage in Cumbria – good luck and thanks Tom.
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Gabz Cullaigh
Fourth on stage 1, the CiCLE Classic winner (UCI) Gabz Cullaigh is having a good Tour of Britain and looking forward to the sprints. “The race is good, the form is good but the level of the climbing is really hard. You look at guys like Alaphilippe lighting it up and I have tried to hang on like on stage 3 and that last GPM, but the road going up from 2 to 3 k was too much for me. I am still really keen for the sprints though”.

Asked how he is finding the sprints, he says “compared to the British races, the sprints are way more faster and a lot more hectic, but compared to under 23 internationals, it’s just as hectic but a few k an hour faster. It’s pretty intense but I quite enjoy it. Everything is just that bit quicker and you have to be a bit more on it. It is so much more organised too with the teams so you can pick the right wheels to surf so I am enjoying it.”

And the other teams and sprinters – is it tough getting in the mix in the physical world of bunch kicks? – “they don’t like letting you in!” Gabz says “I respect the teams but you have to fight for it and can’t give wheels away.”

Talking about the team’s ambitions, Gabz explained “for us as a team, it’s about riders going up the road and also helping me a bit but that last few k, I’ll be on my own, surfing the wheels because the lads don’t have the horsepower to ride next to Quickstep and BMC … I’ve just got to pick the right wheels”.

Finally, the call up to the race was late, so was he ready? “I was in Belgium where we were for two weeks and did eight race days so it was pretty intense but it worked out pretty well, like a mini stage race which set us up well for this. It was pretty hectic leaving Belgium and setting up here but once here, it settled down and it’s mega to be here and to get stuck in”.


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