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“Wiggins? Why?” Cancellara ironically commented on Wiggins' Paris-Roubaix ambitions. "Fabian is a bit like that. He's like a big kid at times," Wiggins answered, putting the Trek Factory rider in his place.

Photo: Sirotti








19.03.2014 @ 09:15 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

In the interview for the Gazzetta dello Sport published yesterday Bradley wiggins of Team Sky emphasized that even though he agrees to ride in the supporting capacity to his leaders in most of the calendar’s major events including the Tour de France, he still needs to have some personal objectives and the Paris-Roubaix would be the one of those. It took no time for one of the Hell of the North’s main contenders, Fabian Cancellara ( Trek Factory Racing) to share his own remarks about Briton’s ambitions just after he has beaten him in the Tirreno-Adriatico individual time trial.


“Wiggins? Why?” Cancellara said with a grin and a light laugh during a press conference yesterday.


“Of course he’s welcome. Everyone is welcome to Roubaix. Everyone. Even [Nairo] Quintana is welcome.”


“You take my ‘He’s welcome to this race’ in two different ways, as a joke or as a serious comment. I don’t want to go into details about what he could do. I said everyone is welcome. I could also challenge myself [to become a classification rider]. But that’s not who I am. It’s not my challenge.”

Then, Cancellara actually pointed out that he wouldn’t be hugely surprised to see tiny climbers negotiating cobbles this years before their major test in the Tour’s fifth stage in July. The Swiss classics specialist didn’t express it outright, but apparently he expects a real carnage to take place on a 156km long  route from Ypres to Arenberg.


“When I see Quintana and other riders who will have to compete for the Tour over the cobbles… OK, I’ll be different at the Tour than it is at Roubaix but it’s going to hurt.”



Wiggins responds


Cancellara’s remarks certainly didn’t discourage Bradley Wiggins to try his luck as a part of Team Sky’s classics unit, as the former Tour de France champion emphasized that his body composure has changed and strength significantly increased comparing to his splendid 2012 season after gaining some weight, what made him more suitable to such a hard kind of racing. He also pointed out that he considers the Paris-Roubaix the most suitable to his characteristics at the moment.


Absolutely unfazed, Wiggins played down suggestions of the Paris-Roubaix three time champion and claimed that playing this king of games is Cancellara’s typical way of handling the pressure.


"Fabian is a bit like that. He's like a big kid at times," Wiggins said, putting the Trek Factory Racing rider firmly in his place.


"I think it’s his way of dealing with the pressure and a way of getting the respect he thinks he deserves as someone who has dominated the races."


"At Roubaix, you can't under estimate anybody and there's been some surprise winners in the past just as there's some clear favourites like Tom Boonen and Fabian. It'll be interesting; that's the beauty of Roubaix. I've ridden well at Paris-Roubaix in the past and I think I'm strong and part of a better team this time."


The four time Olympic champion also underlined that he won’t contend for a sole leadership in Team Sky’s classics campaign as he aims to form a strong unit alongside Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas.


"It's not a case of me being team leader. Ian and Geraint both deserve that role with the form they've got," he said.


"But having several riders up front after the Forest of Arenberg is important. My goal is to be with those guys and be in the selection. After that it's about having the legs, so you can do something or help your teammates. You never know it could split early, like when Van Summeren won. We want to be in that position and then play it out on the road."


This approach was soon to be commented by Team Sky’s management… 



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