'Nibali could win another Grand Tour, Roglic won our hearts' - Wiggins reviews Giro
It was Richard Carapaz's Giro d'Italia as the Ecuadorian claimed the maglia rosa in Verona, but speaking on the latest episode of his podcast, Bradley Wiggins picked out the two other men on the podium, Vincenzo Nibali and Primoz Roglic, for special praise.
Movistar rider Carapaz rode a fantastic race as he finished 1:05 up on Nibali in GC, sealing his first Grand Tour victory at the age of 26, and a first Giro triumph for his country.
Nibali rode an aggressive race in the mountains and wowed crowds with his ascent of the Mortirolo in particular. At 34, time may be running out to add to his collection of four Grand Tours, but Wiggins thought his display over three weeks on his home roads suggested that The Shark may not have finished hunting just yet.
"I wouldn't say no," he said on The Bradley Wiggins Show, available on all major podcast providers on Monday morning. "I wouldn't write him off until he retires.
" I thought maybe we had (seen his last big chance of winning a Grand Tour) before but this Giro he has come back."
"If you take Carapaz out of it, it would have been a phenomenal performance, wouldn't it? He would have gone away on the Mortirolo, Landa would probably have gone with him and this would have become a two-horse battle between him and Landa.
"At the end of the day, he had a fantastic Giro d'Italia. In his performance in isolation, Carapaz was stronger. So it made his (Nibali's) performance look like he wasn't at the level he was three or four years ago, but he was. And I think it was just that Carapaz, we can't take anything away from the fact that he was by far and away the strongest rider."
Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic started the Giro in sensational form, claiming the maglia rosa with a blistering time trial on Stage 1. The Slovenian cruised through the first week but tailed off in the mountains, finishing 2:30 back on GC for third place.
But Wiggins felt Roglic won the hearts of cycling fans - even if he didn't quite have the team on the road to help deliver his first Grand Tour.
"He has had adversity through this race, he had no team support," said Wiggins. "His team director, a pair of idiots in the car behind, he had no guidance from that point of view on the radio.
" He has only been riding a bike for five or six years. He has warmed so many people's hearts. He was this fantastic athlete, robot, who gave these cold unemotional interviews. But we have slowly fallen in love with him because he has shown vulnerability."
"And he showed in an interview again a couple of days ago, when he was smiling for once because the guys were all shouting his name behind, all the supporters, and he was very philosophical, very upbeat, and I just think suddenly then he showed the human side of him and I think that's where he's done more for his support in this race than at any other race before."
Listen to the full episode for more from Brad, Orla Chennaoui and Dan Lloyd on:
- Returning to a normal life after tackling a Grand Tour
- Reviewing a 'brutal' Giro d'Italia
- What was wrong with Simon Yates
- Hugh Carthy's big arrival
- And a look ahead to the Tour de France and the Geraint Thomas/Chris Froome dynamic