Should be a good time—huge, stacked field, 90-degree temps predicted, and a big finish on the Manayunk Wall.
Here’s a little nostalgia. Last time there, in 2005, I snapped a few pics for Cyclingnews. It was the first cycling stuff I ever did. Horner, Julich, and Fast Freddy were there, though they didn’t win. I remember the race vividly, with Chris Wherry winning and the raucous crowds guzzling.
With the uphill finish this year, we should see a puncher or a climber take the honors, right?
Bobby Julich on the Wall in Philly, 2005. (Photo by Daniel McMahon for Cyclingnews)
Horner goes up the Wall in Philly, 2005. (Photo by Daniel McMahon for Cyclingnews)
If you’re in Philly Sunday, hit me up on Twitter. We’ll be on the Wall.
Team boss Dave Brailsford said Wiggins “hasn’t been able to train hard since the Giro and now he needs further rest.
“Whilst we all know these things happen in sport, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a huge disappointment for everyone in the team—and above all for Brad.
‘”It’s incredibly sad to have the reigning champion at Team Sky but not lining up at the Tour. But he’s a champion, a formidable athlete and will come back winning as he has before.”
Wiggins added it was “a huge disappointment not to make the Tour.”
So what does it mean?
I see it as a big disappointment too—for Sky, Wiggins, his rivals, fans, the media, everyone. Like Wiggins or not, love him or hate him, without the defending champion at the sport’s biggest race, it’s a blow. Why? Wiggins without question dominated racing last year, but now he’s forced to sit out. The competition will still be top-notch, with Froome, Contador, Evans, Rodriguez, and others trying to win the Tour, but without Wiggins there you don’t have the sport’s very best possible competition.
Looks as if Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky might be out of the Tour de France this year and miss the opportunity to defend his crown in the world’s biggest bike race.
Richard Moore, writing for the Mail Onlineon Thursday, reported that “title is in jeopardy amid concerns over his health.”
Moore is very close to Sky and blogs about the team regularly on his pro cycling blog at Sky Sports, so I’m guessing Wiggins will indeed announce he won’t ride the Tour, possibly on Friday.
Writes Moore: “The British team, having said Chris Froome would be leader at the Tour, are no longer confident that Wiggins is prepared to play a supporting role not only to Froome but perhaps also Richie Porte, the Tasmanian who is being groomed as a future overall contender.”
If Sky does announce that Wiggins won’t ride the Tour, it would be a blow for cycling. Rivals and fans alike would be deprived of the best racing, and it seems only fitting that Wiggins get to defend his Tour title proper.
But such is racing, and although through the spring Wiggins and Sky had said that he was on track for a Giro d’Italia victory, he pulled out within a week after becoming ill in the weather-affected race.
If Wiggo doesn’t ride the Tour, that would put Chris Froome in an undisputed leadership position on the world’s top team. Nice for him. But Froome would miss Wiggins’ support, even if rumors have suggested that the two have been at loggerheads over who will be boss in France.
Wiggins’ 2012 and 2013 couldn’t be more different. Last year he won not just the Tour but the Olympic time trial, the Critérium du Dauphiné, Paris-Nice, and the Tour of Romandie. This year he’s won nothing, unless you count Sky’s team time trial win at the Giro.
At this point it’s hard to think of how he could save his season. The hilly Vuelta, not exactly his preferred event, is a possibility of course, but the world championships doesn’t suit him.
A student of the sport and its history, Wiggins would certainly regret not being able to participate in the 100th Tour de France when it starts on June 29 in Corsica.
A quick roundup of recent stories, most about pro cycling, that I found worth reading.
By Daniel McMahon
The next big race is the Critérium du Dauphiné (June 2-9), aka the mini Tour de France. Eight stages, a thousand kilometers, a key Tour tune-up. Will Froome and Contador look to strike psychological blows before the Tour? Does Froome need to show that he’ll be Sky’s undisputed leader in France come June 29? That’s just 31 days away, and the clock’s ticking. Race Website
Contador has been doing a training camp in the Alps. Facebook
Froome has been training at altitude in Tenerife and in the wind tunnel in Southampton. Twitter
Moncoutié, in a post-Giro interview, says Froome is the favorite for the Tour as his strong Sky team tips chances for victory in his favor. He adds that though Nibali showed that Sky can be beaten, the Giro and the Tour are two very different races. (In French.) Cyclism’Actu
A group of French prisoners is to ride a stage of the Tour. “Corsica is known as the island of beauty but dozens of gangland and separatist killings in recent years have also earned it the title of ‘the murder capital of Europe.’” Mail Online
Sir Chris Hoy calls for lifetime ban for dopers. BBC
UCI pres McQuaid has “secured a second term on the council of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.” VeloNation
“Nike dropped Armstrong back in October, after the released of a comprehensive and damning USADA report into the cyclist’s doping. Armstrong left Livestrong’s board of directors soon after. At the time, Nike announced it ‘planned to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.’” What that statement meant was Nike was waiting for its contract to expire. Deadspin
Alex Dowsett is still walking on air after taking big stage win at Giro. “My dad has been keeping all of my newspaper cuttings since I started racing and he has got about 10 or 15 scrapbooks full,” he said. “Now there is one solely dedicated to the Giro.” Sky Sports
The Giro says its website had 1.5 million page views during the three-week race, a 50% increase year over year. cyclingreporter
Urán, runner-up at the Giro, says in new interview that Nibali was simply “untouchable” with the form he had. The Colombian himself is now looking at a bright future in GTs as rumors of a possible move to Omega Pharma–Quick-Step continue to swirl. (In French.) Cyclism’Actu
Blanco’s Bauke Mollema in new video showing his training for the Tour:
Johnson’s London Cycle Network Dream: “Famous pub-crawl route and an orbital linking London’s radial underground arms, the Circle Line’s yellow circuit is a lynchpin of the capital’s iconic tube map.” Cycling Weekly
“Made by Hand is a short film series that celebrates the people who make things by hand sustainably and with a love for their craft.” Cycling Tips