Bradley Wiggins – Ineos are brilliant but they are strangling the sport
Bradley Wiggins has told Eurosport that while the brilliance of Team Ineos might be impressive, their dominance is making cycling a worse spectacle.
Wiggins was talking in #TheBreakaway, a live analysis show broadcast across Eurosport’s social media channels, and was responding to a question sent in by a viewer, who asked:
" What are the thoughts of Brad and Brian on the rumours of (Richard) Carapaz signing for Team Ineos next season?"
Here is exactly what Bradley Wiggins had to say on the issue...
Bradley Wiggins: “In some ways it’s a shame. It’s always hard for me to talk about that team because people go ‘well you rode there’. Yeah I did, obviously, and I benefited from that system, and now I’m out of it.
“It’s a fantastic team, all the riders there – G and Froome and everyone. But we’ve enjoyed this race (the Giro d’Italia) so much, and these attacks, and Nibali. It’s been a joy to watch, and we kind of can predict what’s going to happen at the Tour. They’re going to park the bus almost because they’ve got that strength in depth.
"We’re talking about Bernal, G, Froome, Kwiatkowski, Poels… and it’s like when the lead group gets down to ten, five of them are going to be Ineos. It doesn’t allow for this racing, it’s a physical display – and I know that because I benefited from it. And it’s a physical demonstration of watts and threshold powers etc, and it doesn’t allow so much for this kind of spectacle racing.
"By adding another big major Grand Tour winner in there it feels like there’s a bit of a strangling of the sport, because who else is left now to enjoy these moments. Nibali is 35, he’s not around forever. They’ve got Bernal, they’ve (Pavel) Sivakov, they’ve got the future of the sport in one team, and I worry where’s all the other talent. We had Mathieu van der Poel on the podcast a few weeks ago, will he end up going as well? What’s left?"
"I don’t know if that’s right or wrong and I’m not criticising, I’m just making an observation of it."
Orla Chennaoui: "Could it also be a strangling of Carapaz’s ambitions. We look at Bernal, one of the brightest potential talents in the sport, but he will have to compete if he’s even allowed to with the defending champion and the champion before that, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. Where will Carapaz’s ambitions fit into that if indeed the rumours are true?"
Bradley Wiggins: "Can you blame him? Why wouldn’t you want to go to the best team in the world, tried and tested? They may say to him – you can try and win the Giro again next year, or the Vuelta, maybe the Tour team no because we’ve got ten others who can win that."
Brian Smith: "I looked after Leopold Konig a couple of years ago. I advised him not to go to Team Sky, but he wanted to go purely because he wanted to learn from the best team in the world. That’s what they want to do."