Published: Saturday September 8, 2012 MYT 8:55:00 AM
Wiggins told to enjoy Tour of Britain
LONDON: Bradley Wiggins will begin a nationwide lap of honour on Sunday when the four-time Olympic champion and Tour de France winner is among the field in the Tour of Britain.
This July the 32-year-old became the first British winner of the Tour de France, road cycling's supreme test of endurance, and Wiggins followed that up in August with Olympic time-trial gold at the London Games.
Now Shane Sutton, his coach at Team Sky, wants Wiggins to enjoy himself and soak up the adulation he is sure to receive from adoring crowds when the Tour of Britain starts in Ipswich, eastern England, on Sunday.
"I hope he goes out there and enjoys the moment," said Sutton. I think it's been tough for him to sit down and enjoy the enormity of his success. The Tour of Britain is a really good place to soak it up and enjoy what he's achieved.
"It's not about Brad going out and winning the Tour of Britain. It's about Brad going out and showing himself to the people there to see the Tour de France winner," Sutton added.
"Brad wants to go out, show himself to the public and pay tribute to the millions of fans that have supported him on the journey."
Wiggins has been named in a six-man Team Sky squad also including compatriot and world champion Mark Cavendish, who is reported to be negotiating his exit from the British outfit.
Wiggins's victory in France, where team-mate Chris Froome finished second, means Team Sky are certain to aim for further Grand Tour wins whereas sprinter Cavendish's interests lie in stage victories and points successes.
Belgian squad Omega Pharma-QuickStep have been linked with the Isle of Man rider if he can find a way out of his Sky contract but Sutton said: "That's just speculation at this moment in time.
"All I know is Mark is a Sky rider, he's under contract with Sky.
"He's performing well, he got a win in Denmark. We've got the fastest guy in the world on the squad at this moment in time and who knows what's going to happen in the future?"
The Tour of Britain will be Cavendish's final race as 2011 world champion, with the rainbow jersey up for grabs again in the Netherlands later this month where an undulating course may not suit the Manxman.
Sutton added: "He's going to go to the line with the jersey on and never say never in sport, but on that circuit it looks a big ask for Mark.
"Mark's not world champion for any other reason than his greatness. I think he'll go there and perform reasonably well." - AFP