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What now for Team Sky?

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On the day that Sir Bradley Wiggins is foreced out of the Giro D’ItaliaI have been thinking what this could mean for the rest of the season, especially the Tour. The plan was something like, Team Sky win the Giro with Sir Bradley Wiggins, to achieve the first British winner in pink to follow his Tour de France victory last year, leaving fellow Sky man Chris Froome to take the Tour honours in Paris. Well depending upon your point of view this could have been the plan but no longer. I say no longer only due to the fact that Wiggo hasn’r managed to win the Giro, the Tour De France tougher brother.

Today Wiggins has withdrawn from the Giro with a chest infection and has returned to the UK to recover in time for the tour. He must be thinking even more now he has the right to defend his title and should be given the opportunity to do so. Im sure his team mate Chris Froome feels its his year after the reports he has been assured he will lead the team in 2013. The fact is now Sky will have two men pushing each other for the title. One thing is a definate Sir David Brailsford now has to use all of his skill and experience to manage the expectations of these two “heavyweights” in pro cycling.

There are a few other factors to add to the mix. Last year  Alberto Contador was banned and surely will be a main contender as will Vincenzo Nibali (unless the Giro takes it out of him). It could be agrued that riders such as Contador and Nibali don’t use (or need) a team compared to the Sky riders or is that because Sky are able to dominate at the front of the bunch and control the race? Surely this is down to the type of riders they are and the fact they are all different. Sky having a double team leadership could be a way of attacking the field with two very strong riders and then let then fight it out in the final week, or could the fact they have two capable riders work against them as they may have split resources. At the end of the day I, like many, don’t know anything and we will find out as the tour develops.

Its a waiting game but now that Bradley Wiggins was not able to win the Giro due to his chest infection and Froome continuing his tour preparation it makes for an interesting build up to the tour grand depart in Corsica. Who said cycling was boring! Watch it and you’ll be hooked. I don’t knbow about you, the Giro hasn’t finished yet and already I am looking forward to the greatest cycle race in the world.

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Birthday post looking back, looking forward

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Today I turned 36! In itself not a “milestone” birthday. So at 36 I have decided to try blogging! In two months my friend and I (along with thousands of others) will cycle from London to Brighton for The British Heart Foundation in the second night ride. I did the first one last year and loved it.

My expectations have changed one year on. A year ago I was in the final week of preparation as the ride was in May and the weekend before I was at Lords for a test match. However in just seven weeks time I will attempt the ride for the second time, with more than an ambition to complete it. What has changed? I still want to raise money for The British Heart Foundation and you can show your support for me here. Now I’ve completed the course i want to push myself, just to see what I can do. Last year I completed the ride on a mountain bike in 6.5 hours. This included three twenty minutes rest stops and a ten minute rest to take in the view at the top of Devil’s Dyke. Therefore I feel I can easily reduce the time by an hour. Now the bike. I have a new road bike which is lovely and means I can maintain a higher moving speed. In training rides this is comfortably 24 kmph. With a little more focused training this could be increased to 25 kmph, meaning a possible ride in 4 hours! I believe this can be achieved.

Better preparation, with gells etc, will help, plus a better machine will allow me to achieve my new goal, or at least get very close to it. From reading many reviews shoes clipped into the pedals provide a much more efficient use of energy transfer from foot to pedal, so time can be gained here. The training has been better. Longer more frequent rides on a road bike have built my confidence to climb and descend hills at a much quicker pace than last year. Knowing the route and hopefully not taking a wrong turn will help as this cost 10-15 minutes last year too! Well only time will tell if i am successful or not, but please if you feel you can help The BHF and you can give a few pounds please do so via my fundraising page.

Thank you for reading.

Lets get started

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Last year I cycled in the first British Heart Foundation Night Ride and in July I’m doing it again. Keep coming back to see how my training is going and show your support via my online fundraising page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilWheeler5