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Bradley Wiggins

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posted Aug 19, 2008

wasn't Wiggins Cav's partner when winning the Worlds Madison ?
This would mean they had trained together .. so putting another in would be just as bad as a tired Wiggins ...

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posted Aug 19, 2008

The mistake was putting Wiggins in the team pursuit. Cummings could have filled that role and left Wiggins fresh for the Madison. It will always be VERY difficult to win the Madison if you are favourites as the rest of the field will mark your moves closely.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

I would imagine you don't really know how tired you are until you have to make a big effort.

Having said that, it was disgraceful and they should sack the cycling management. They've been such a let down this week. ;)

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posted Aug 19, 2008

Interesting call re the Team Pursuit selection, also, maybe Chris Newton (Bronze in the Points Race) or Rob Hayles (a set of fresh legs) could have been considered.

I know it's easy to say after the event, but last night watching the highlights my wife said how tired Wiggins looked. It's a sign of how dominant GB has been in the Velodrome that we are being critical of him. 2 golds and a world record time arenít bad!

I don't buy into this idea that Cav pulled out of the Tour especially for the Olympics. For sure it was part of the reason, but there was more than one mountain stage that would have seen him finish outside the time limit.

It's an interesting one for Cav. Is this possibly the end of his track career? He is now a superstar on the professional road scene and will be able to make a very good living at it. He also needs to work on his climbing and I wonder if that will take anything away from his track ability? Time will tell.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

Without Wiggins, Britain would have had no chance of winning. They may have still medalled, but they had to take that risk especially if Wiggins himself was happy competing.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

DJ Loves You says we should sack the cycling management, what a brilliant idea, lets sack the management that has brought the GB cyclists unprecedented success at these olympics then we can go back to the time when we win one medal every 80 years. Yes that is a genius idea. The only merit in it might be that the management team would then be free to look at the GB athletics team and try and get them to actually win something in London.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

Whoosh, the irony of dj's post goes straight over woodsy's head.

I'm still a little perplexed as to why Cav wasn't in the points race as well as the Madison, but other than that I can't fault Wiggins for wanting to go for 3 golds and wanting to keep together the world Madison championship. But I guess it isn't British not to have a pop at one of our sportsmen the minute something doesn't quite go to plan

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comment by madigaf (U4482358)

posted Aug 19, 2008

The fact is Bradley Wiggins is by far the most important person in the cycling team If he hadn't rode the pursuit, they may very well ave not won. Wihout Wiggins in the Madison, frankly you haven't got a chance. Wiggins is needed t keep to endurance work high while cav does the sprint. No one else could have done it. I'm disappointe for him because he desrves to be spoken of in the same breath as chris hoy. At the very leasr

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comment by gl1978 (U10692872)

posted Aug 19, 2008

woodsy i think you should read DJ's post again and notice the little winking smiley.
;-)

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comment by grumpy (U1364075)

posted Aug 19, 2008

i think DJ's right - we should sack the management and replace them with the England cricket selectors immediately. Let's remember we're British - any ideas of professionalism, dedication and above all success must be stamped out immediately ;-)

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posted Aug 19, 2008

Sorry, I don't understand why it is selfishness. Being tired isn't selfishness. In the end it comes down to team management who is picked for the events. Cavendish left the tour de france early I assume because he didn't feel he could win it, but thought he might be able to win the olympics(is that being selfish). Maybe Wiggins shouldn't have tried to win the individual and saved himself for the Madison!!

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posted Aug 19, 2008

Darlo Scot is right : unless you understand Madison racing, and how 'combines' work for and against each other, then it is very difficult to spot that, Wiggins and Cavendish were hot favourites and marked heavily.
They may be good, but could not win with 4 or 5 other good teams against them.
IMO there is no-one near Wiggins (in the UK) in his ability to 'read'and ride a Madison. It, like the points race is a one of tactics and skill as well as speed with 10 other teams out there. Vastly different to other disciplines, even the Keirin.
One may as well slate Romero for not winning the Women's points race "when she was the fastest there".

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comment by gl1978 (U10692872)

posted Aug 19, 2008

if he'd won we'd all be saying how great he is. im sure all the cyclists were hurting and it was just one race too far. but well done anyway. i didnt get to watch the race but apparently their every move was followed by the other teams. maybe if this had been earlier in the schedule they would have won

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posted Aug 19, 2008

I can just imagine the Queen receiving the news now... 'What do you mean, we failed to take a clean sweep at the Velodrome??? Off with their heads...'

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posted Aug 19, 2008

If you look at the results from the veoldrome, it is clear that the 'worst' of our results (with no offence intended to Chris Newton) came in events where you are riding against multiple opposition at the same time as opposed to all the other events where you are racing against a single individual/team at a time. This leaves you open to more much of the opposition playing tactics. There were 15 other teams in the madison, plenty of them top quality, and a number of those top teams must have been smarting from the fact that, generally, the GB had been demolishing all before them. So there was always going to a problem of opposition teams covering any move GB made, especially after their stunning win in the Worlds in March.

Please do not blame Bradley Wiggins for a GB failure, the team obviously thought this was the best option regardless of the fact that he had ridden six fast 4k pursuits in the previous 4 days.

Yes, I am sure the team are disappointed with that result but when the velodrome has provided 7 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze from 10 events, I think we can accept not all was perfect. At least this way there is some room for improvement in 2012.

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comment by gl1978 (U10692872)

posted Aug 19, 2008

lets face it, if the argentinians had won all the other races, GB would have been trying to halt there progress in the same way that other teams did us today

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posted Aug 19, 2008

only so much you can do if your marked out from the start

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posted Aug 19, 2008

Apart from the opening article, which to be frank is completely OTT, I don't think any of us are criticising or blaming Wiggins.

British track cycling has got itself into a ridiculous position. As you say KP, 7 golds from 10 events. It shouldnít happen really, even more so when you add the silvers and bronze. How do they progress?

Wiggins has had an awesome Olympics. But rest assured that Dave Brailfordís team will go back to Manchester and ask themselves what went right, what went wrong and where can we get better. Nothing wrong in that.

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comment by wattie (U13069548)

posted Aug 19, 2008

Woodsy, I think the comment about sacking the management was what is known as 'a joke' (ironic style). It is interesting to note that the British track succeses all came in races about pure speed that don't have a very significant tactical element. This is not a criticism. The management threw all their commitment behind events where the parameters are measurable and there is much less unpredictablity and where split second decsions and such like don't make the difference. A logical decision because it was all about maximising potential and having control over all the possible variables, something you cannot have in Points Races or the Madisson, and one of the reasons why the track success will be harder to replicate on the road. It makes sense to take such an approach when your funding is dependent on success: what would you do, base the success criteria on things you cannot easily control or on the ones you can? The Madisson was a disappointment (but remember Wig and Cav secured the gold at the last possible moment in the Worlds, and a trick like that is hard to pull off twice), and I don't honestly think the GB squad were interested in the Women's Points Race, because they just threw Romero in to give it a go as there was nothing to lose in doing so. I feel a bit sorry for Chris Newton as his medal seems to have been almost forgotten amongst all the gold. All this makes Nicole Cooke's tactical masterpiece in the Women's RR even more impressive.

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comment by Ian B (U3864728)

posted Aug 19, 2008

So over the 10 events there were 3 we didn't win and only 2 we didn't medal in.

Of the other 7 we had 3 gold and silver (kierin, sprint, womens IP) and 1 gold and bronze, and the other 3 events we only had one entry (TP, TS, women's sprint).

Lots went right, some even better than expected - Steven Burke medalling in IP for one, Chris Newton in the points race was also probably a bonus considering he's had some injury problems.

The only slight downers were the women's points race (Romero not having enough experience to make the most of her undoubted speed) and madison, where a tired Wiggins was marked out of contention. As has been mentioned already, these race are the most difficult to control, so preparation, planning and even quality of your own performance can only get you so far - need to ride smart as well as hard (as Chris Newton did pretty well) plus have a bit of luck. Based on that, I'm not sure that there's an awful lot that could be done beyond making sure our selected riders are sufficiently familiar with the event and are as fresh as possible going in.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

The other thing to think about is how tough Brad's schedule was. What was asked of him was a lot more than the Worlds.
At the Worlds, there are less rounds of the pursuits and a clear day.
Worlds:
Wed IP Qualifying
Wed IP Final
Thu TP Qualifying
Thu TP Final
Fri no race
Sat Madison

Olympics:
Fri IP Qualifying
Sat IP 1st Round
Sat IP Final
Sun TP Qualifying
Sun TP 1st Round
Mon TP Final
Tue Madison

So the Olympics meant 2 extra 4k pursuit rides and then no 'free' day before the madison. It was always going to be a tough schedule.

But the 'team' obviously still thought that Brad/Mark was the best option.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

The comments by the person in the first article are typical of the way we always find fault with our sportspersons regardless of how successful the have been. The first fault and bang we are in there to knock them as far of their pedastal as possible. Wiggins was doing only what most of us are incapable of doing and doing it with great pride and self belief and I guarentee his partner would not have wanted anyone more qualified beside him especially from their world experience so people who are so ready to cast stones should wake up and praise a man and team that has done the country a great favour and put pride back into its name

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comment by Ian B (U3864728)

posted Aug 19, 2008

What odds if Brad is still performing in 2012 that the velodrome programme is extended slightly so that he gets a free day somewhere along the line (or he drops from the TP squad).

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posted Aug 19, 2008

I can't believe this post after the success cyling and wiggins has had.

Greenwhosdaidiot perhaps you will only be happy when we win every gold medal. To call wiggins selfish is unbeleivable. In the giro wiggins helped Cav win 2 stages. Remember in sport there are other competitors who want to win and in this event which is a lottery they did

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posted Aug 19, 2008

Simply marvelous results. :-)

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posted Aug 19, 2008

Disappointed for Cavendish especially but i dont think Wiggins was being selfish.I am sure he tried his best. I am also sure the cyling management will look at why they underperformed as those two certainly had the talent to get gold.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

In hindsight putting Wiggins into another event was perhaps a mistake, given the obvious depth of talent of the cycling squad - but I suspect no-one is more upset that Mark Cavendish did not get a medal than Bradley Wiggins, and as newcomers as a nation to a success in any event it does at least give us something to aim for in London 2012 - a clean sweep in all cycling events. How sweet would that be on home soil?

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posted Aug 19, 2008

If what the original poster was trying to say was "Its a damned shame for Cav that he hasn't got an Olympic Medal to add to his World Championship Medal and his 4 Stage victories in REAL bike racing" then I agree. ;-)

You could just as easily condemn Cav for not waiting for Wiggins at the end of a road stage...

All I can imagine is that this will be the end of Cavendish on the track which is no bad thing. He'll be able to concentrate on turning himself from a Mario Cippolini into an Eric Zabel.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

And kingCav, i could not agree more.

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posted Aug 19, 2008

What are the rules for the Madison in terms of a replacement? i.e could Team GB, on realising Wiggins was spent, have actually put in another rider? If they couldn't, how could Wiggins, who after all rooms and is mates with Cavendish, be perceived as selfish?

The thing that showed from Wiggins being in the event at all was not whether or not he was selfish, but that nobody is superhuman in terms of endurance

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posted Aug 20, 2008

Unbelieveable! The man wins two gold medals, sets world records and yet someone still wants to rain on his parade. Of course I feel for Cav not winning a medal but, like Victoria, he knew coming into the games he only had one shot at it. Also, it's not as if it was sprung on him the night before the race that Brad would be his partner. It was stated after the world championships that they would ride together at Beijing, and Cav would be well aware of Brad's racing timetable and what it might take out of him. It would not have been Brad's decision alone whether he was ok to race and I don't believe either of them would have gone into it if they genuinely didn't believe they could give it their best. Have people forgotten what a shock it was to many when they won the madison world title in the first place? Few, other than they, believed it was on. They won, then suddenly it was a foregone conclusion they would win Olympic gold.

As has been pointed out, however good the riders may be, the madison is a bit of a lottery. GB were going to be surrounded and stalked at all times. I strongly suspect that some of the other countries, noses out of joint following our sweep of most of the medals, had the attitude that if they couldn't win they were going to make d*** sure Team GB didn't. Yes, Brad looked off his peak, but Cav didn't look all that hot when he was on the track either. To lump all the blame (if there should be any "blame" at all) on Brad is unfair. Let's not be typical negative Brits and forget all the glory of the last few days for one not so sparkling result. And hey, it's not as if we came last in the madison either!

Instead let's bask in the glow of superb performances, the prospects of more excellent cyclists coming through and campaign for more women's track events.

Finally, never mind Sir Chris, what about Lords Brailsford and Boardman!

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posted Aug 20, 2008

I agree whole heartedly with the original OP. Wiggins was selfish and the decision to include him was wrong. It might sound like sour grapes, and I am delighted with our results, but they have been achieved by a very hard rule within the British Cycling team.

If something isn't helpful in achieving gold, it's discarded. If someone isn't believed capable of winning a gold then someone else is given the chance. The focus is on winning and nothing else.

Jamie Staff reinforced this point on Olympic Breakfast a few days back by saying that if the Paula Radcliffe situation had existed in the cycling she wouldn't have been able to compete.

Bradley Wigginsí ego in wanting to get three Golds like Chris Hoy meant that Cavendish comes away from the velodrome as the only GB cyclist competing there who didnít get a medal. Which is a little unfair. If this was an individual event, then so be it but you have a responsibility to your team mate. Cavendish has worked hard for this yet comes away with nothing because Wigginsí ego was too big and the selectors didnít have the courage to say no. There is also the idea that it stopped someone else from competing in the event. Cav cut short his Tour de France campaign, and the glory he was receiving in it, to compete in the Olympics.

Unfortunately there seems to be a news blackout on the post Madison analysis so we will never now if Bradley is genuinely gutted for Cav.

Just to re-iterate I'm over-joyed at our performances but the cycling team has got where they are by being very hard on themselves. Making excuses for Wigginsí performance and decision to race would undermine the very fundamentals of their success.

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comment by Sonny (U3877544)

posted Aug 20, 2008

It was clear that Wiggins was tired. Cavendish went for the break about 40 laps from the end but Wiggins just couldn't do it so they slipped back into the pack. That's the way it goes, they were marked men.

What I will say is that for me the irony is that Britains best cyclist is the only team member to not get an Olympic medal. Don't get me wrong, I've loved watching Hoy especially when he unleashes maximum power but for me no one can touch Cav.

I was hoping to see an interview of the pair after the race but for once the beeb failed to interview the British competitors because we're so spoilt you've got have a gold to get any air time.

Anyway, what next for Wiggins? He may have 3 olympic golds in the bag but for him to become a true cycling great in my eyes he's got to do what Cav has done and prove himself out on the road.

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comment by Ian B (U3864728)

posted Aug 20, 2008

Here's another way to view Team GBs track performance:
For each event say that a gold is 3 points, silver 2 and bronze 1, then consider the number of competitors from GB and the pre-race expectations:
For the 10 events we have:
Team sprint - possible 3 - target 3 - attained 3
Keirin - Possible 5 - target 3 or 4 - attained 5
Men's Ind Pursuit - possible 5 - target 3 - attained 4
Women's Ind Pursuit - possible 5 - target 3 or 4 - attained 5
Men's points - possible 3 - target anything - attained 1
Women's points - possible 3 - target anything - attained 0
Team pursuit - possible 3 - target 3 - attained 3
Women's sprint - possible 3 - target 3 - attained 3
Men's sprint - possible 5 - target 3 or 4 - attained 5
Madison - possible 3 - target 3 - attained 0

So maximum possible was 38 points, relatively optimistic target of 29, attained 30.

Overall a great performance of living up to and in some cases exceeding expectations. If only some of our other Olympians were as good at performing under the pressure that comes with the expectation to deliver results (a few of our track athletes for example have fallen short of their personal performance targets [NOT a reference to Paula Radcliffe, who did remarkably well to even be running after her injury problems but was always going to have too few miles in her legs to be truly competetive])

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posted Aug 20, 2008

My perception on cycling is that winning the Tour de France would be considered more prestigious than an Olympic Cycling Gold Medal, so why did Cav leave the Tour?

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posted Aug 20, 2008

sniffershaw, from my earlier post;

'...I don't buy into this idea that Cav pulled out of the Tour especially for the Olympics. For sure it was part of the reason, but there was more than one mountain stage that would have seen him finish outside the time limit...'

Plus, I can't but think that if Cav thought he could make the time limits he would of relished a shot at victory on the Champs Elysee.

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posted Aug 20, 2008

PS. Cav is never ever going to win the Tour de France. He will however win the Green Jersey one day and yes, that will better Olympic gold. Just not in the eyes of your average UK media and non-cycling fan who will think the opposite!

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posted Aug 20, 2008

He was pulled out of the Tour because there was no way he could ever win it!

I am still suspicious about the day he was pulled too, big conflab at team car, LOT of talking on radio!

There were other riders heading for the Olympics too and yet THEY finished the tour, what made Cavendish so special!

Also, there was a report that Cavendish would not be going to the Olympics because he failed to make the time. Didn't see it myself but a keen road racer told me about it.

Personally I'm not concerned he didn't get a gold. Bradley Wiggins rode his heart out to win all of his, so leave him alone.

By the way, you will NEVER beat an Olympic Gold, stop trying to belittle the achievement these cyclists have made.

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comment by Sonny (U3877544)

posted Aug 20, 2008

macfan you ignorant git. Try getting to know the subject matter before you come on here spouting such crap.

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comment by Sonny (U3877544)

posted Aug 20, 2008

hmmm perhaps a tad harsh by myself but you clearly are no cycling expert. Mark Cavendish is the best British cyclist in mine and many many other cycling fans opinions. No one is belitting the gold medals, it's fantastic but there are bigger fish to fry in the sport of cycling. But if you were a cycling fan then you'd know that.

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posted Aug 20, 2008

macfan, sorry, but a grand tour win is on a different stratosphere in terms of prestige compared to any number of olympic golds.If you knew about cycling as sport you would not say otherwise.It is the absolute pinnacle of any cyclists career to win a tour.The cyclists say so themselves and the european public know it too.Its just in the UK, where knowledge of tour cycling amongst the public and media in general is practically non existent, that the olympics is considered the most important.

The olympics in cycling is not a major event for most professional cyclists, its important but does not carry a great deal of prestige.That might sound harsh, but its true.

Some top cyclists do not even enter,they have bigger fish to fry, and thats the tour of Spain coming up in September.

As for Cavendish, he will never win a grand tour, or probably even any other tour as he will never be able to climb.He could, and probably will, win the green jersey over and over again in all the grand tours he enters.

He pulled out the tour for 2 reasons.Firstly at his age its very difficult to finish the tour de france and he was knackered, secondly the olympics.I reckon he wanted to stay in though as to win the last stage in paris would have been glorious.

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posted Aug 23, 2008

I am no cycling expert, but follow it enough to know that for Cavendish, the Green Jersey in the Tour de France will mean a lot more than Olympic Madison gold.

If I remember correctly, he made a joint decision with the Great Britain team to pull out of this years TdF to prepare for the Olympics.

A couple of weeks ago there was talk that Geraint Thomas was posting better times than Cav and could replace him in the Madison. Wiggins was exhausted in the Team Pursuit and his gearing had to be changed. Surely this should has set off an alarm in Dave Brailsford's head to pull Wiggins from the Madison and put in Thomas, who had only done the team pursuit. Better chance of a medal with fresher Thomas than knackered Wiggins.

Was it not Wiggins who praised the effort of Clancy, Manning and Thomas to give up individual pursuit to improve the team pursuit. They helped him get his second, why didnt he let Britains most talented cyclist win gold by pulling out and letting Thomas get a piece of individual glory...obviously not individual but there are only two of them not four!!

I'm gutted for Cav as Olympic Gold would have gone nicely alongside his four stage wins!!

Haven't read all 41 posts so some of this may have been said!!But let's get the message to those who know nothing of cycling that Wiggins let down his team mate!!

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posted Aug 23, 2008

Can we all please remember that cav completetd the giro d'italia 4 weeks before the tour, a three week grand tour that had more ascent than the tour de france, and he won two stages of that.
Chris prudhomme (tour organiser) didn't mind so much cav pulling out because of all the excellent publicity he brought to the race.

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posted Aug 26, 2008

Good point dunc, he won a lot of praise in the Italian media for the way he rode the Giro.

Maybe it was the physical and mental expenditure in finishing the Giro, coupled with the first hand experience that brought of recovering from a grand tour and the knowledge of the Olympics to come, but despite the 4 wins he didnít look to have much climbing in him on the Tour.

Thatís only my opinion from armchair viewing. There was a distinct lack of interview after the Olympic Madison; it would be interesting to see what Cav has to say. I suppose Cav has to bite his tongue a bit. When he rides for Team Columbia Wiggins plays a vital part for Cav, using his time trailing ability to keep a sustained tempo.

As for Cavís climbing itís all relative. Havenít got the times to hand, but I think Cav still finished the Eítape stage of the Tour approx 40mins quicker than the winner of the Eítape! I know the Tour stage and the Eítape stage arenít identical, but stillÖ

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posted Aug 26, 2008

Can't see how Wiggins was being selfish - he won 3 golds at the World Championships this year, so better to go with him rather than another rider who has very little experience of riding Madison at this level.

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