Has the 2010 ride from Wiggins been better than last year?

by jimmythecuckoo   July 22, 2010  

Bradley Wiggins (picture credit Team Sky).jpg

Those of you who don't like 'plucky British loser' stories might want to avert your eyes for the next few minutes before coming back to the website.

I have been reading through the lines, scrutinising the press copy and cocking a close ear to the interviews and I have come to the conclusion that the 2010 ride by Bradley Wiggins has been the equal and (for the sake of starting debate with this blog) better of his 2009 vintage.

How so?

In 2009 Bradley rode with the leaders most of the way through the mountains and was competitive in the time trials. This year he has been off the pace since the start in Rotterdam having had a poor time trial (weather induced perhaps) and been nowhere when the rode has gone up hill.

Having said that, the grace with which he has accepted his fate and his desire not to give up and ride hom with the 'Autobus' daily has given me a higher level of respect for him.

Pretenders seem to come along for the Tour de France every year, and Wiggins has had a huge amount of pressure placed on his shoulders through his truncated move to Team Sky and subsequent assertions that he was aiming to get on the podium in Paris this year.

Most of those riders who achieve one year but flatter the next never make it through the three weeks, chosing to cite an injury or fatigue as a reason to go home early.

Wiggins (barring accident) will make Paris now and has shown that he is a true champion by refusing to give up and accept mediocrity without a fight. The interview where he told ITV4 that he had promised his daughter he would finish the Tour was inspirational.

For their to be a credible winner, there has to be losers and whilst nearly all British cycling fans would have wanted Brad in yellow, the fact he will not give up until the end shows a newer human side to the Sky project.

Have Bradley's result been better this year than in 2009 ? Absolutely not, but the Tour has a different parcours every July so that isn't really relevant.

Has Bradley conducted and handled himself in the manner of a champion? 100% yes.

I posted a blog at the turn of the year doubting he could ever win the Tour de France, you can read it by clicking here. I dont see any reason to change that prediction unless we go back to the flatter Tours with more KM's of time trials, but as a person Bradley has surpassed my expectations and I want to take this opportunity to say 'well done'.


(Ok, haters of 'plucky British losers' can open their eyes again now).

8 user comments

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Q: Has the 2010 ride from Wiggins been better than last year?
A: No.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
22nd July 2010 - 17:33

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Thanks for reading Wink

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1186 posts]
22nd July 2010 - 18:22

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Hi Jimmy. I'm a big fan of Bradley's. He'll come out of this Tour with even more respect in my eyes too. But has his ride this Tour been better than last? Simply - no. He came here to compete with the very best, and by his own admission he fell short. He didn't come to be congratulated for the way he has handled himself when the results failed to materialize (as admirable as his candidness and humility have been). If your article had been titled "Will Wiggins come out of the 2010 Tour a better rider?" I would have been eager to express my opinion that he most certainly will.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
22nd July 2010 - 19:27

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I think there's been way too much hype around Sky in their 1st year - although I guess that's a problem with a sponsor led professional sport. I think that this has created unrealistic expectations on a team that is still finding it's feet. For me they looked really bad on that Morzine stage, where they led the charge up the first climb before blowing up badly.

Wiggins is normally fairly public in exposing the brittle nature of his sportsman's psychology. To be pushed to the forefront of the new Sky team and carrying the burden of its aspirations probably hasn't suited him very well. I hope he can do well in Saturday's TT.

I still reckon Sky should have signed Evans.

posted by cowspassage [43 posts]
22nd July 2010 - 20:11

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Anyone who is familiar with my comments on this website knows that I'm not a Wiggins fan and I'm certainly not a Sky fan. But putting that aside, I think one of the biggest problems with this year for both is that it seemed they thought they were going to ride in a peloton with riders and teams that didn't have their own aspirations and wouldn't fight hard to achieve them and therefore they were just going to reap prizes at every turn.

For a team that has only just started, based around one rider who had one good Tour (and an easy-ish Tour compared to this one), and to not look at this year's Tour route and think 'hmmmm, this is going to be about 5 times as difficult as last year' is just setting itself up for disappointment and tells of the management's inexperience with the professional peloton.

So yeah, it took guts for him to say he wasn't any good but what else could he say? And to vow to ride on to Paris because he promised his daughter is inspirational? No, that's his job, I don't see anything inspirational about that - he's had a slapdown, nothing more. I think far more inspirational is the fact that a lot of riders came into it - Evans, Basso, McEwen with their own dreams - and have been riding the tour, knowing they can't win, with broken bones, bronchitis and, in Robbie's case, falling apart at the seams but could still do his traditional mountain-top wheelie yesterday - now THAT'S inspirational. That's what being in the Tour de France is about.


kittyfondue's picture

posted by kittyfondue [56 posts]
23rd July 2010 - 12:22

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It's probably done him and the team a bit more good that he's had to struggle this year. It would have been nice to see Team Sky in the running this year but a learning year or two is no bad thing.

I don't think 2009 was a fluke but he certainly had a better (more experienced and tested) team around him which perhaps made it easier.

When he's been interviewed in the past I've found his attitude a bit childish with his 'take me as you find me attitude' but he appears to be coming a bit more relaxed and less obtuse in his answers. I've always admired his riding style and skill and I'm warming towards him as an interviewee.

I had Wiggins in my TdF Fantasy team from the start and suffered because of it, and I finally swapped him out for Schleck, but he's back in for the last two stages. Just hope he doesn't have an 'error of judgement' tomorrow and gets to prove he's still a great TT'er.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [527 posts]
23rd July 2010 - 20:19

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Is anyone reading into Cav's comments that sky are doing really well but need some winning experience? What are the odds on a move? How would this affect wiggo?

not all carbon is the same.

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posted by Jon Burrage [1076 posts]
25th July 2010 - 12:05

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Interesting point of view. And even on raw results, if you compare his finishing position to other team leaders (blunt instrument - people whose rider number ends in 1) then he finished higher than Evans, Cunego, Chavanel, Basso, Le Mevel, Voeckler, Capecchi, Gerdemann and Cavendish (who obviously had other aspirations). Plus of those team leaders who finished above him, only Sastre had also ridden the Giro (though it would be perverse not to mention Vinokourov who placed higher in both).

posted by msw [124 posts]
5th August 2010 - 11:36

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