Even though the Tour of California queen stage saw in-form Rohan Dennis significantly reducing his time loss to race leader Bradley Wiggins, the Team Sky rider is ready to defend himself on the second mountaintop finish of the race at Mountain High and claims they would not repeat their mistake of underestimating the Garmin-Sharp rider.
Despite having his race lead significantly reduced, without any doubt Wiggins is still the most impressive rider of the 2014 edition of the Tour of California and only some surprisingly week performance on its sixth stage should chance the final outcome of the “America’s biggest race”.
The huge effort from Team Sky riders in chasing a breakaway on third stage saw strong Wiggins completely isolated on the decisive parts of the Mount Diablo ascent, exposed to attacks from Janier Acevedo (Garmin-Sharp), Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) or eventually Dennis followed by Tiago Machado (NetApp-Endura) and Lawson Craddock (Giant-Shimano). The very same riders are expected to repeat their moves on the Mountain High today, but the British team’s sports director Kurt-Asle Arvesen was pleased with latest performances of his squad and revealed that they would follow exactly the same pattern.
"The whole team did a really great effort," Team Sky's director Kurt-Asle Arvesen told Cyclingnews. "We're really happy to still be in yellow. We knew that Bradley was going to be left alone on Mount Diablo, so he was prepared. We knew Rohan would be strong but we didn't expect him to be that strong, so that was a surprise. Now we know and we're even more prepared for the next mountain day.
"It's always sad to lose time, though, but Wiggins is still in a comfortable lead. There's one minute back to third place, so there is only one guy we really need to watch, more or less. We will take it day-by-day and Wiggins is feeling good."
"Mountain High is a totally different type of climb than Diablo," Arvesen said. "It's longer and less steep. The last two kilometers are really steep, once we turn off of the big road it kicks up, so that's where we will need to be ready."
Wiggins added that, "Mountain High is different than Diablo but there will be a similar pattern to the racing. We'll be a week into racing by then, so it will have some different challenges. The altitude will play a factor there because we'll be finishing at over 2,000 meters. It might be cooler but it will be another tough day."
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