Wiggins can inspire a generation...

by jimmythecuckoo   July 21, 2009  

Tour de France Stage 15: Bradley Wiggins ©Photosport International

The irony hasn’t been lost on me. I spent time the first week of my trip reading the Robert Millar biography thinking back to when we had a Brit who could excel in the Tour mountains.

The following week I was on the roadside watching the Tour unfold and yelling in Mark Cavendish’s ear as he went past. Despite having his critics I have used this blog to defend Mark to the hilt, the last two weeks have left me unsure of him and it would appear that in the form of Bradley Wiggins I might have been backing the wrong horse.

Like many I have been flicking between the Eurosport and ITV coverage of the Tour and the moment of the race so far has to be David Harmon (the best cycling commentator bar none) screaming “Come on Bradley” as the peloton splintered at the bottom of Verbier. He said what I am sure every Brit watching was thinking.

Unbiased commentary? We don’t need that! We love a bit of flagrant patriotism when one of our riders is at the head of the race.

Bradley Wiggins has ridden the perfect race so far. It is going to be a tough final week in the mountains but whatever happens now he has shown the way for British riders to be more than the perception of “good track riders and time triallists, but cant climb”, which seems to prevail in the mainland of Europe.

Can he win the Tour? Cadel Evans has told the BBC website he thinks he can, but I am staying calm and if Wiggins himself is saying he is taking it “day by day” then the excited British cycling public will have to do the same.


12 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Nicely put Jimmy...I too have defended Cav all the way, and I too feel that I didn't give Wiggo the credence he clearly deserved going into the Tour.

Cav's antics have left me a little cold, but Brad not only riding out of his skin, but being really humble and not his old moaning self, but instead really excited and positive has been a joy to watch.

I hope he can carry on riding like he has to date, the tough days ahead will be a test, but no matter what happens, he has exceled already...seeing him come in ahead of Sastre, Evans and Armstrong on the toughest days climbing so far had me shouting so loud that I scared the dog and thus got shouted at by the wife.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [690 posts]
21st July 2009 - 9:56

1 Like

Agree with you about Wiggins Jimmy, but what has made you unsure about Cav? What you see is what you get with him, has his behaviour been any better or worse than normal on this Tour? He just doesn't do humble.

On a bike somewhere…

thebikeboy's picture

posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
21st July 2009 - 10:32

1 Like

How can you stay calm? With his time trialling and climbing he could finish second in this TdF. But there are some dangerous mountain stages in the way, where anything can happen. I'm nervous as hell!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1436 posts]
21st July 2009 - 11:18

1 Like

thebikeboy wrote:
but what has made you unsure about Cav?
This might be fence sitting on my part, but I cant put my finger on it.

I dont think he has been any more curt that Wiggins himself has in interviews. When asked by a French journalist whether he was pleased with his ride through the mountains on Sunday he answered "what do you think?".

I just feel that Cav is enjoying this public enemy #1 status with the French a little too much. And that you need friends within the peloton.

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1347 posts]
21st July 2009 - 11:23

1 Like

Wiggins or Cavendish - who would you rather be stuck in a lift with?

That's the question posed on Eurosport's Blazin Saddles blog:



Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
21st July 2009 - 11:56

1 Like

Don't back the 'wrong horse' - back both of them!

Now, if Contador goes on the attack, will Armstrong chase?
Or the other way round?

Brad's big enough, strong enough and mentally tough enough to stand up to the Astana 'good cop, bad cop' routine.
There's every chance he's got Bruyneel's boys worried; the 'unknown quantity' and all that. If Garmin do their job, which I've no doubt they will, then
Wiggins has every reason to go on the offensive.
I hope he does.

There's every chance of Brad being at least on the second step in Paris.

I can't wait for Sunday!

neilwheel's picture

posted by neilwheel [132 posts]
21st July 2009 - 12:05

1 Like

I didn't like Cav's tactics of trying to block Hushovd in, to prevent him gaining points on stage 14.

If he is faster than Hushovd then all well and good; if your team tactics state that you have to ride for a team member, then there you go, that is pro-cycling. It was gamesmanship on Cav's part...

I'm happy for him to be brash and arrogant when he has earned it, but I didn't like his spoiling tactics much.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [690 posts]
21st July 2009 - 12:06

1 Like

They were blocking trying to get George Hincapie the yellow jersey. Otherwise he would have sprinted as normal, and there wouldn't have been a problem. So I don't think it was Cav's fault - Columbia got their tactics wrong.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1436 posts]
21st July 2009 - 12:16

1 Like

That was my point, if he was following team orders to ride for Hincapie then do that, but he tried to do the best of both worlds by trying to hinder Hushovds sprint into the bargain.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [690 posts]
21st July 2009 - 12:33

1 Like

Bradley is an inspiration to us all. Not only a brilliant cyclist but a really nice guy as well. A good example for everyone to take note of.....


posted by rebel9307 [8 posts]
21st July 2009 - 13:17

1 Like

I am impressed by both but wiggins moreso, to go from olympic pursuit gold to being a real contender in the mountains of the greatest bike race in the world is amazing. I knew he was in good form having seen the giro but this is a massive leap up from there.

Cav is very good, the best sprinter in the world absed on pure speed but that must translate easier from the track than mountain stages would.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
21st July 2009 - 13:42

1 Like

Poor Cav, poor Hincapie, it was a terrible day for team Colombia.

posted by Alankk [131 posts]
22nd July 2009 - 3:53

1 Like