Giro d'Italia: Bradley Wiggins predicts Ineos Grenadiers, Egan Bernal to attack on Stage 9
Stage 9 could be the moment for Ineos and Egan Bernal to make their presence really felt with a serious attack at the 2021 Giro d'Italia, according to Bradley Wiggins. The British cycling legend has told Eurosport that he believes Ineos and Bernal will take the race to their rivals on Sunday and "put a marker down" by putting "their stamp on this race".
'They will go on the attack' - Wiggins predicts Ineos aggression on Stage 9
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"They will want to put their stamp on this race. They did in the first week with Ganna.
I think they will go for it. They'll go on the offensive. They all want to put a marker down tomorrow.
"It could play out like that but I think they want to put Egan in a position to show the rest of the team that we're here and we mean business.
"I know Dave. It is not for their ego or anything like that. You are safest when you're in the peloton when you're at the front.
"They like that role, given the responsibility of having to ride every day. That is ultimately what they train for. That is what the team they have got here is for."
Bernal did attempt a surprise attack on Stage 8 but he was told to go away by rival riders in a comical breakaway from the former Tour de France champion. The 24-year-old Colombian made a strange move on a flat stretch of road with the peloton being pulled all over the place by crosswinds and with splits suddenly appearing.
'It's chaos!' - Bernal told to go away in comical breakaway
Whether Bernal's sudden move to the front was entirely intentional or not, it was not particularly clear, but it did not appear to go down well with a number of his rivals in the group. As riders waved, shouted and gesticulated in Bernal's direction, he eventually retreated back behind the lead group with his tail between his legs in comical fashion.
Eurosport commentators Rob Hatch and cycling legend Sean Kelly were left very surprised to see Ineos - and in particular Bernal - making the seemingly random move.
"There is action because we have seen a couple of riders from Deceuninck–Quick-Step and a couple of riders from the Ineos Grenadiers - but who is it? That is the question..." said Hatch. "How dangerous are they? On the left-hand side, it's not who we think it is, is it? Bernal?!
He is being told by the riders there that he should not be there, because they are saying he has no, no chance of getting away!
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"That was a very interesting move, because he obviously found himself there. I didn't see him surrounded by any team-mates or anything like that. Bernal found himself there.
"It's all over the road, here. No wonder they were chasing hard with Bernal in front. I was also wondering if Mr [Remco] Evenepoel was there as well because I saw several Deceuninck–Quick-Step jerseys.
"It's chaos on the first few kilometres of this Giro d'Italia [stage] but the type of chaos that we really enjoy. It is splitting in the wind and that is perhaps why Bernal found himself up there."
Kelly added: "Well, that is the death of that breakaway! They were trying to get a very slight advantage but it is coming back here.
"When they start a conversation like that with Bernal, immediately the pace is knocked off a bit. That was not one that was going to stay.
"It's all coming back together now and Bernal is not going to be the one to go, he is going to be the death of that breakaway."
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