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Sport Bradley Wiggins: Everyone ends up looking pretty stupid at the Giro d'Italia

00:30  24 october  2020
00:30  24 october  2020 Source:   cyclingnews.com

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Former rider Bradley Wiggins has given his opinion on the events of stage 19 at the Giro d'Italia, branding the day a "shambles" and concluding that "everybody ends up looking pretty stupid."

a man wearing a helmet and holding a cell phone: British former cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins comments the race on a moto during stage 17 of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race from Pont du Gard to Gap 200 km France Wednesday 24 July 2019 This years Tour de France starts in Brussels and takes place from July 6th to July 28th BELGA PHOTO YORICK JANSENS    Photo credit should read YORICK JANSENSAFP via Getty Images © Provided by Cycling News British former cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins comments the race on a moto during stage 17 of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race from Pont du Gard to Gap 200 km France Wednesday 24 July 2019 This years Tour de France starts in Brussels and takes place from July 6th to July 28th BELGA PHOTO YORICK JANSENS Photo credit should read YORICK JANSENSAFP via Getty Images

Wiggins' comments came during the shortened 124-kilometre flat stage from Abbiategrasso to Asti, after riders had protested following a Thursday evening vote in favour of shortening the 258-kilometre stage by team's Professional Cycling Association (CPA) representatives.

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Bradley Wiggins , surrounded by few fans looking for an autograph, doesn't seem at ease at the start of the first stage of Giro del Trentino 2013, his last race before the Giro d ' Italia .

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The stage start in Morbegno near the French border was a chaotic affair as riders negotiated with Giro organisers and UCI commissaires. Eventually, after an eight-kilometre rollout, the peloton boarded buses for the 130-kilometre journey to the new start.

Wiggins appeared on British Eurosport partway through the shortened stage, eventually won by CCC's Josef Černy from the breakaway, to rail against just about everyone involved in the race, insisting that the riders have a responsibility to entertain the public.

"The whole thing is just a shambles," he said. "I think everyone ends up looking pretty stupid. Obviously, I'm talking from the perspective of someone four to five years into retiring. Let's make it clear, back when I was a rider, I would've been the first to not want to race in the race.

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When Bradley Wiggins pins the race number to his Sky jersey on Saturday and sets off for the first stage’s 130km around Naples it will be his fourth time at the Giro d ’ Italia , but this one will Brad has won his Tour de France, he has ticked that box, and now he and Team Sky intend to win a Giro d ’ Italia .

"But from the other side of the fence I realise just how much of a privilege it is to be a pro cyclist. The riders are every fortunate – and they deserve it – in terms of how much they get paid these days, and also the current climate around the world at the moment, cycling is very romantic and it's a passion and escapism for many people from the strain and pressure of daily life.

"I think riders do have a responsibility to ride and that's why they're elite cyclists because it's doing something that normal people perceive themselves as being unable to do, something of this magnitude."

The stage would have seen the riders tackle an eighth stage over 200 kilometres in length in less than three weeks, and the rider protest was far from the first complaint of the Giro.


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Wiggins : 'I've had a pretty rough 24 hours'(EPA). Team Sky director Sir Dave Brailsford says the Wiggins finished more than three minutes behind Cavendish and the rest of the leading group The 33-year-old's hopes of adding the Giro to his Tour de France win of last year now appear remote at

Nevertheless, Wiggins added that, in his view, cycling fans and the general public were the ones who were losing out.

"The riders – to protest the way they did – with no unity as usual, nobody seems to know what is going on. The race director [Mauro Vegni] threatened that someone will pay for this on Sunday. The only ones who end up losing out are the general public and the viewers.

"I can see everybody's point. The rider's point – do we need a 258-kilometre stage the day after the Stelvio stage? The race organisers are happy to cut a day like tomorrow down, which impacts on whether someone like Tao Geoghegan Hart can attack and win the race having dropped Wilco Kelderman yesterday – 'we don't want to cut this but we're happy to cut that'.

"The whole thing just shows the lack of unity, the lack of organisation and the lack of power the riders have as a group. The union doesn't act as a union – can we say 'willy waving contest' here?"

As well as criticising the organisation, the Briton joined race director Mauro Vegni in criticising the riders. Vegni threatened legal action against riders if they didn't show proof that their proposals to shorten the stage were made before Friday, adding that "someone will pay for this."

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Bradley Wiggins 's second crash in two days at the Giro d ' Italia has hampered his chances of A second crash in as many days saw Bradley Wiggins lose more than four minutes in today's Cadel Evans, who claimed the pink jersey from Wiggins yesterday, was also held up by the late pile- up that

Giro d ' Italia (@ giroditalia ). Rain, sun, rain again, wind, no wind: variable weather in Saltara. A key day for Wiggins who will look to gain a real advantage here on the climbers led by Nibali. If the Briton struggles on the heavy course here, he is unlikely to win the Giro .

Wiggins compared the riders' problems to those of soldiers and healthcare workers, evoking a trope unfavourably comparing the pay of public sector workers to that of professional athletes.

"To ride your bike for 250 kilometres for six hours – if it's in the rain or not – it's a little bit disproportionate to what some people have to do, like the front line in the army, working in the NHS in the current climate.

"That's why I see this as a privilege. Lots of people sat in offices ride their bikes at weekends for passion and love for the sport, that's why people fall in love with this sport because of what these riders have to go through.

"We're lucky to have a Giro d’Italia this year. From that respect, make the most of it. We’ve seen what it’s like when there’s no races.

Wiggins concluded his statement by opining that the riders' protest in Morbegno had been stronger than the rider-organised statement against racism at the Tour de France, where the peloton donned masks emblazoned with anti-racism messages.

"To add to that as well, they've made more of a stand today, more of a protest than they did for Kévin Reza and the stand against racism at the Tour de France. That's all I'll say on it."

Geoghegan Hart, Ineos top prize winners in Giro d'Italia .
Team takes home €430,693 with €314,781 won by Geoghegan HartIneos Grenadiers took home roughly €430,693 - excluding the daily Intergiro sprints and combativity bonuses. In comparison, the top team in the Tour de France, UAE Team Emirates, won almost €200,000 more.

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