Tim De Waele’s ‘Bradley Wiggins rode to ninth at Paris-Roubaix Sunday and said he would be back to try and win’ (2014)
Bradley Wiggins keen for another tilt as Niki Terpstra wins Paris-Roubaix

By William Fotheringham
Bradley Wiggins has always been particularly proud of the breadth of his cycling register, taking in as it does road, time trials and track events. After finishing the sport’s most demanding one-day race, the Paris-Roubaix Hell of the North, in ninth place and on the heels of the winner, Niki Terpstra, after a six-hour stint through dust clouds and past vast dunghills on the back lanes of northern France, he can now add another category to the long list: Classics contender.
For a cyclist who once specialised in the four-minute pursuit, added the dizzying Madison and then moved on to win the Tour de France, hanging tough with the best one-day specialists such as Tom Boonen, four times a winner in Roubaix, and Fabian Cancellara – a dominant victor of the Tour of Flanders the previous weekend – is a feat that cannot be overestimated, and it left Wiggins delighted, even if he was disappointed not to have won.
"There’s a tinge of disappointment. I really had legs, even in the final, I felt strong," Wiggins said. "I was pinching myself a little bit, I don’t mind admitting that." The 2012 Tour winner kept a watching brief, which is the best policy in such a long, demanding event, but had the legs to be part of the elite 11-man selection that formed with only nine kilometres remaining, after the final two of the 28 sections of cobbled lanes that make the Queen of the Classics so demanding.
As so often in the past, the gently rising lane to the exposed crossroads at Carrefour de l’Arbre and its twin section to Gruson were critical, as a lead quintet formed around Cancellara, joined a few kilometres after the cobbles were left by a sextet including Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, who were unable to match Terpstra when he broke clear six kilometres from the finish.
"I just felt outnumbered," Wiggins said. "And the run-in was quite fast in the last five kilometres. Terpstra played it perfectly with [his team-mates] Stybar and Boonen." Indeed, Terpstra was able to play the team card, with his Omega Pharma-Quick-Step team boasting three of the 11 lead group. The chase behind was fitful, partly because any potential pursuers knew they would drag the Dutchman’s team-mates into contention, but also because by this phase of Paris-Roubaix even those at the front have tipped over the edge into exhaustion.
Unfortunately for Wiggins, the only team-mate still on hand was Thomas and he was anything but fresh. He had left most of his energy on the road in an escape with Boonen which lasted over 40 kilometres of the final phase, and which ultimately proved fruitless. Terpstra rode into the velodrome finish with a 20 second advantage; behind him the sprint from the chasing group was won by the German sprinter John Degenkolb, with Thomas in seventh, and Wiggins ninth in the same time.
Thomas, once a winner of the junior Paris-Roubaix, is probably the best bet for a first British victory in the elite race at some future date but Wiggins has not ruled out a return either. This was, after all, the best ride by any cyclist with the Tour de France on his palmares in 22 years, since Greg LeMond – then in the twilight of his career – finished ninth in 1992.
Since Eddy Merckx’s heyday in the 1970s, barely any Tour de France champions have braved the Roubaix cobbles, because there is a strong chance of crashing and compromising the build-up to the Tour.
Bernard Hinault famously won in 1981, while the late Laurent Fignon managed third in 1988, but these are rarities which put Wiggins’s Sunday in Hell into perspective.

Tim De Waele’s ‘Bradley Wiggins rode to ninth at Paris-Roubaix Sunday and said he would be back to try and win’ (2014)

Bradley Wiggins keen for another tilt as Niki Terpstra wins Paris-Roubaix

By William Fotheringham

Bradley Wiggins has always been particularly proud of the breadth of his cycling register, taking in as it does road, time trials and track events. After finishing the sport’s most demanding one-day race, the Paris-Roubaix Hell of the North, in ninth place and on the heels of the winner, Niki Terpstra, after a six-hour stint through dust clouds and past vast dunghills on the back lanes of northern France, he can now add another category to the long list: Classics contender.

For a cyclist who once specialised in the four-minute pursuit, added the dizzying Madison and then moved on to win the Tour de France, hanging tough with the best one-day specialists such as Tom Boonen, four times a winner in Roubaix, and Fabian Cancellara – a dominant victor of the Tour of Flanders the previous weekend – is a feat that cannot be overestimated, and it left Wiggins delighted, even if he was disappointed not to have won.

"There’s a tinge of disappointment. I really had legs, even in the final, I felt strong," Wiggins said. "I was pinching myself a little bit, I don’t mind admitting that." The 2012 Tour winner kept a watching brief, which is the best policy in such a long, demanding event, but had the legs to be part of the elite 11-man selection that formed with only nine kilometres remaining, after the final two of the 28 sections of cobbled lanes that make the Queen of the Classics so demanding.

As so often in the past, the gently rising lane to the exposed crossroads at Carrefour de l’Arbre and its twin section to Gruson were critical, as a lead quintet formed around Cancellara, joined a few kilometres after the cobbles were left by a sextet including Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, who were unable to match Terpstra when he broke clear six kilometres from the finish.

"I just felt outnumbered," Wiggins said. "And the run-in was quite fast in the last five kilometres. Terpstra played it perfectly with [his team-mates] Stybar and Boonen." Indeed, Terpstra was able to play the team card, with his Omega Pharma-Quick-Step team boasting three of the 11 lead group. The chase behind was fitful, partly because any potential pursuers knew they would drag the Dutchman’s team-mates into contention, but also because by this phase of Paris-Roubaix even those at the front have tipped over the edge into exhaustion.

Unfortunately for Wiggins, the only team-mate still on hand was Thomas and he was anything but fresh. He had left most of his energy on the road in an escape with Boonen which lasted over 40 kilometres of the final phase, and which ultimately proved fruitless. Terpstra rode into the velodrome finish with a 20 second advantage; behind him the sprint from the chasing group was won by the German sprinter John Degenkolb, with Thomas in seventh, and Wiggins ninth in the same time.

Thomas, once a winner of the junior Paris-Roubaix, is probably the best bet for a first British victory in the elite race at some future date but Wiggins has not ruled out a return either. This was, after all, the best ride by any cyclist with the Tour de France on his palmares in 22 years, since Greg LeMond – then in the twilight of his career – finished ninth in 1992.

Since Eddy Merckx’s heyday in the 1970s, barely any Tour de France champions have braved the Roubaix cobbles, because there is a strong chance of crashing and compromising the build-up to the Tour.

Bernard Hinault famously won in 1981, while the late Laurent Fignon managed third in 1988, but these are rarities which put Wiggins’s Sunday in Hell into perspective.

Scott Mitchell’s ‘Paris-Roubaix Gallery’ (2014)
Well Done Mr. Wiggins
I have to say, what a performance from Bradley Wiggins that was on Sunday. Finishing in the top ten with some of the best classic riders in the world is certainly something to be proud of. As someone whom originally criticized Wiggo’s decision to participate in this year’s edition of Paris-Roubaix; I was pleasantly surprised to see him prove me and all his other critics wrong.

Scott Mitchell’s ‘Paris-Roubaix Gallery’ (2014)

Well Done Mr. Wiggins

I have to say, what a performance from Bradley Wiggins that was on Sunday. Finishing in the top ten with some of the best classic riders in the world is certainly something to be proud of. As someone whom originally criticized Wiggo’s decision to participate in this year’s edition of Paris-Roubaix; I was pleasantly surprised to see him prove me and all his other critics wrong.

Graham Watson’s ‘Richie Porte warming down at last year’s Paris-Nice’ (2013)
Richie Porte determined to play to his strengths at Tirreno-Adriatico

By Rupert Guinness
Australian Richie Porte understands Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme’s anger over his late withdrawal from the Paris-Nice race he won last year and is owned by the same organisation, to replace injured Chris Froome in the Italian Tirreno-Adriatico event.
But Porte, 29, says the eight day Tirreno-Adriatico, commencing on Wendesday, is more suited to his strengths with its team and individual time trials as well as two summit finishes that will not on the route of Paris-Nice that was due to start Sunday.
Porte believes the Italian race, which Tour champion Froome withdrew due to back injury, will also give him an opportunity to gauge where he stands against some of his rivals for the Giro d’Italia from May 9 to June.
At Tirreno-Adriatico they will include Australian Cadel Evans (BMC), Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Italian Michele Scarponi (Astana).
Porte, the first Australian to win Paris-Nice last year, will lead the Sky team for the first time in a grand tour when he lines up for the Giro.
But he is keen to see where he stands against his rivals, despite a strong to the season that includes a third place finish in the Australian road championship, fourth overall and a stage win in the Tour Down Under World Tour opener in South Australia and second place overall in the Ruta del Sol stage race in Spain last month.
"I understand where he’s coming from," Porte told Fairfax media of Prudhomme’s reaction.
"Paris-Nice is a great race that has a lot of history.
"We weren’t disrespecting [Prudhomme], or his race or his organisation.
"But when ‘Froomey’ is out of Tirreno and I’m on Paris-Nice on a course that doesn’t suit me then it makes sense to shift me into the Italian race."
Porte has also taken his race switch as another sign that Sky recognises him as leader, given that 2012 Tour champion Bradley Wiggins is entered for Tirreno-Adriatico.
"It does give me a certain confidence that the team are prepared to shuffle me like that [to lead in place of Froome]," Porte said.
"Brad is there also in Tirreno, [although] he has changed his ambitions a little bit.
"It makes me realise that I made the right decision in re-signing with Sky."
Porte is confident that the new-look Sky team for Tirreno-Adriatico will still be up for the race without Froome, and will help position him well for a top overall finish as early as on stage one – a 16.9km team time trial from Donoratico to San Vincenzo.
"At the end of the day we are all professional bike riders. We ride team time trials a lot, so it shouldn’t be a major hiccup or anything," Porte said.
For Porte, this will be his first start in Tirreno-Adriatico. Since turning professional in 2010, he has always raced in Paris-Nice at this time of the year.
Asked if the myriad of punchy, steep hills of Tirreno-Adriatico might prove to be a new challenge, Porte laughed and said: “At the end of the day, a climb is a climb. They are never nice.
"I’m just happy to go there, have a great week of racing and then find out where I am at.

"Then we can work on what I need to do before May [and the start of the Giro]."

Graham Watson’s ‘Richie Porte warming down at last year’s Paris-Nice’ (2013)

Richie Porte determined to play to his strengths at Tirreno-Adriatico

By Rupert Guinness

Australian Richie Porte understands Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme’s anger over his late withdrawal from the Paris-Nice race he won last year and is owned by the same organisation, to replace injured Chris Froome in the Italian Tirreno-Adriatico event.

But Porte, 29, says the eight day Tirreno-Adriatico, commencing on Wendesday, is more suited to his strengths with its team and individual time trials as well as two summit finishes that will not on the route of Paris-Nice that was due to start Sunday.

Porte believes the Italian race, which Tour champion Froome withdrew due to back injury, will also give him an opportunity to gauge where he stands against some of his rivals for the Giro d’Italia from May 9 to June.

At Tirreno-Adriatico they will include Australian Cadel Evans (BMC), Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Italian Michele Scarponi (Astana).

Porte, the first Australian to win Paris-Nice last year, will lead the Sky team for the first time in a grand tour when he lines up for the Giro.

But he is keen to see where he stands against his rivals, despite a strong to the season that includes a third place finish in the Australian road championship, fourth overall and a stage win in the Tour Down Under World Tour opener in South Australia and second place overall in the Ruta del Sol stage race in Spain last month.

"I understand where he’s coming from," Porte told Fairfax media of Prudhomme’s reaction.

"Paris-Nice is a great race that has a lot of history.

"We weren’t disrespecting [Prudhomme], or his race or his organisation.

"But when ‘Froomey’ is out of Tirreno and I’m on Paris-Nice on a course that doesn’t suit me then it makes sense to shift me into the Italian race."

Porte has also taken his race switch as another sign that Sky recognises him as leader, given that 2012 Tour champion Bradley Wiggins is entered for Tirreno-Adriatico.

"It does give me a certain confidence that the team are prepared to shuffle me like that [to lead in place of Froome]," Porte said.

"Brad is there also in Tirreno, [although] he has changed his ambitions a little bit.

"It makes me realise that I made the right decision in re-signing with Sky."

Porte is confident that the new-look Sky team for Tirreno-Adriatico will still be up for the race without Froome, and will help position him well for a top overall finish as early as on stage one – a 16.9km team time trial from Donoratico to San Vincenzo.

"At the end of the day we are all professional bike riders. We ride team time trials a lot, so it shouldn’t be a major hiccup or anything," Porte said.

For Porte, this will be his first start in Tirreno-Adriatico. Since turning professional in 2010, he has always raced in Paris-Nice at this time of the year.

Asked if the myriad of punchy, steep hills of Tirreno-Adriatico might prove to be a new challenge, Porte laughed and said: “At the end of the day, a climb is a climb. They are never nice.

"I’m just happy to go there, have a great week of racing and then find out where I am at.

"Then we can work on what I need to do before May [and the start of the Giro]."

Two of Roubaix’s greatest riders are Belgians Eddy Merckx, three victories, and Roger de Vlaeminck, four victories. These two men are also members of a very elite club of only three men in history who have won all five Monuments of Cycling; Milano–San Remo in Italy, Ronde van Vlaanderen in Belgium, Paris–Roubaix in France, Liege–Bastogne–Liege in Belgium, and Giro di Lombardia in Italy. 

Two of Roubaix’s greatest riders are Belgians Eddy Merckx, three victories, and Roger de Vlaeminck, four victories. These two men are also members of a very elite club of only three men in history who have won all five Monuments of Cycling; Milano–San Remo in Italy, Ronde van Vlaanderen in Belgium, Paris–Roubaix in France, Liege–Bastogne–Liege in Belgium, and Giro di Lombardia in Italy.