Egan Bernal’s Giro d'Italia dominance could cause Ineos problems for Tour de France – Bradley Wiggins
Egan Bernal cemented his status as pink jersey-elect with an excellent solo victory in Cortina d’Ampezzo on Stage 16 of the Giro. And in the latest episode of the Bradley Wiggins Show, 2012 Tour de France winner Wiggins says he fears for the rest of the race, such has been the Colombian’s dominance. However, could his excellence spell trouble for Ineos?
Bernal, 24, cemented his status as pink jersey-elect on Monday, and in the latest edition of his Eurosport podcast, Wiggins and Graham Willgoss were joined by Pippa York to discuss Bernal's display on a weather-shortened Stage 16 in the Dolomites.
“I can’t see anything that anyone can do that will dislodge Bernal,” began Wiggins on the podcast.
“Even when he is isolated and short of team-mates he will just attack and no one can ride with him.
I fear for the rest of the race.
With five days of racing left, Wiggins can’t see anything other than an Ineos win.
I think they have this sewn up now – they have ridden flawlessly and Bernal has proven that he is the strongest rider. I can’t really see anyone challenging them. This is what they do well.
Watch unseen footage from Bernal's remarkable attack on Stage 16
It was a sentiment that York agreed with, saying that Bernal was “clearly a step above everyone else”, adding that the weather may decide Ineos’ tactics moving forward.
“It depends on the weather," she said. "If the bad weather remains then they will ride more defensively. But if the situation develops for Bernal to take a stage win they may take that.”
However, Bernal’s expected procession could spell problems for Ineos ahead of the Tour. Wiggins suggested the Colombian might expect a spot at the Tour de France, particularly after the maglia rosa gave a bullish interview after the finish.
‘I wanted to show I am back in the game’ – Bernal on Stage 16 victory
"I just think if there’s a public statement where Bernal comes out and says ‘I’d like to ride the Tour’ that puts pressure on the team," said Wiggins.
Just based on his interview, I wonder if he’s now thinking ‘I’m getting better’. Does that mean we’ll get a better Bernal at the Tour? I wonder, he’s a tough nut!
Elsewhere, York, who finished second in the 1987 edition of the Giro, lamented Simon Yates’ struggles on Stage 16.
“Today he didn’t really have it,” began York.
“It reached a point where he was stuck in the saddle and that was his tempo to the end. He lost almost three minutes today and it wasn’t enough.
If he is lucky he will stay in the top five and if he deteriorates further, he will be lucky to stay in the top 10.
After Tuesday’s second rest day, the Giro returns with a 193km Stage 17 that features three categorised climbs including a mountain-top finish at Sega di Ala.
‘Get that coat off, show off that jersey!’ – Bernal wins Stage 16
- - -
You can watch the Giro d'Italia live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and Eurosport.co.uk. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now. You can also watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free racing on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.