Egan Bernal may have strengthened his grip on the maglia rosa with a defiant display on Monte Zoncolan but Bradley Wiggins believes the GC leader will be taking nothing for granted.
Speaking on his Eurosport podcast following the gruelling Stage 14 battle in which Fortunato favoured the brave on the mighty Zoncolan, Wiggins said the Colombian and Ineos Grenadiers will remain fully focused for the rest of the race despite the advantage.
“He’s given a bit of a clue into the psychology of how they work in that team in his interview,” said Wiggins.
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“The interviewer said ‘1’36” on Simon Yates who’s your nearest rival’ and Egan had to compute that for a bit because it’s not a natural thing to ask what the time gap is.
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“He was very coy about committing to saying, ‘that’s enough’. It’s the classic line at Ineos: day by day. There’s still so much that can happen in this race.
It was a fear of committal in terms of saying ‘yeah, that’s a really good gap’ and, ‘that might be enough to hold it’.
“There’s a fear committing to saying, ‘I’m bloody happy with that’.”
Wiggins suggested that this mentality comes from the very top of the team and that this is the reason for much of their success.
“I know what that’s like, that’s where the psychology comes with Dave [Brailsford], don’t worry about the time gaps, we’ll race each day as if it’s a one-day race,” he added.
“Forget about the time gaps the aim is to be as fast as you can every day.”
Although, the race is far from a foregone conclusion, Bernal has positioned himself in the box-seat to add to his Tour de France success from 2019 and Wiggins thinks Ineos could be in line for a clean sweep of Grand Tours this year.
“I think so, it’s setting up nicely. If Geraint [Thomas] is on track for what I think he’s on track for in a second Tour [de France] win, it leaves Egan to have a summer of training and to come back for the Vuelta [a Espana], which suits him, doesn’t it?
He’d have won three Grand Tours then himself which of course is a big focus for him, and Geraint to win a second tour. It suits everyone really.
“It’s an incredible unit of riders and on paper they should win all three grand tours really.”
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