In the returning episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show Podcast, Bradley Wiggins lays out his expectations of the season, including why Geraint Thomas is the man to beat at the Tour de France.
Wiggins says that he feels Thomas could well have won the Tour last year, were it not for the avalanche that halted Stage 19 early. And this year he will again be the defacto leader for Ineos.
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"Had we had the stage to Tignes last year completed, I think Bernal would have cracked and Geraint would have won the Tour that day,” Wiggins says.
You have to say that because Bernal was allowed to win the Tour last year with Geraint as defending champion, when he was good enough to win the Tour last year, the same would apply to Bernal this year – that he doesn’t get the automatic right to defend the race.
"So Geraint is open to win the race this year, and I actually think he will win the Tour this year, no question about it, I don’t think there’s an argument within that team for me."
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Wiggins is joined in the episode by Dan Lloyd of GCN, presenter Graham Willgoss, and founder of the Black Cyclists Network Mani Arthur. And Wiggins told his guests that he feels Thomas could achieve something remarkable and follow up a Tour de France victory with a rare triumph in one of the rescheduled Monuments.
"Guys like Geraint Thomas, coming off the Tour de France, could win Flanders,” Wiggins said. “He’s the type of rider who could win Flanders. He’s won E3 in the past. I’d love to see Geraint Thomas step up in them races.
"Imagine winning the Tour de France and coming out and winning Flanders or Roubaix a couple of weeks after that. It’d be amazing, I’d love to see that.
"This season is completely different. And if a Geraint Thomas on top form is going for Flanders or Roubaix, he’s a better rider than Van Avermaet any day of the week, when they’re on form, as great as Greg is. It kind of goes against Greg, whereas Geraint in early season wouldn’t be targeting that race so it’s one less person to think about.
"The Classics guys, who are just Classics guys, almost get washed away and look like they’re not going that well. But it’s not that, it’s that they’ve got a whole new bunch of riders that wouldn’t be on form normally at that time of the year, that are allowed to be now because of the way the calendar is set out."
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