A Jumbo-Visma climbing masterclass on Stage 4 of the Tour de France has given Primoz Roglic an air of invincibility - that is, according to Bradley Wiggins on his Eurosport podcast.
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Roglic prevailed in the first mountain-top finish of the 2020 Tour to underline his yellow jersey credentials as other GC contenders - namely Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz - stuttered under the incessant pressure applied by the Jumbo train. The Slovenian moved up into third in the GC, seven seconds behind Julian Alaphilippe.
"I think we learnt quite a bit about the form of a lot of riders," began Wiggins. "It was a very hard climb, but there were a lot of riders there with 2km to go and then it started splintering a bit.
Roglic looked invincible today. Sepp Kuss looked really at ease as well, he was his strongest team-mate by far.
"Egan Bernal was there but perhaps the climb was too shallow for Egan. I think he will get better as the race goes on and he will come into his own.
"We didn’t see (Richard) Carapaz really, which shows you that Bernal was quite isolated in that last bit. But Roglic was clearly the strongest today. He has certainly answered those questions about whether the Dauphine would affect him at the Tour."
Wiggins, speaking on the latest episode of his Eurosport podcast, added that Jumbo-Visma have the air of an outfit that are ready to seal Tour success.
"They looked like a team that were going to win this race today," said Wiggins on the podcast, where he was joined by Dan Lloyd.
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The final stretch of the stage was a demonstration of Jumbo-Visma's strength in depth, with Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss paring down the field with indefatigable stints on the front to lay the foundations for Roglic’s third Tour de France stage win of his career - and Van Aert's efforts also garnered praise from both Wiggins and Lloyd.
"Wout van Aert was on incredible form, as he has been since racing resumed,” enthused Lloyd.
"Taking it to a kilometre and a half to go - he is a heavy guy and not a pure climber – so to get the team up to that point is incredible, and the other teams will be thinking: ‘What can we do?’” he added.
Van Aert had been touted as a potential contender for the maillot vert but the 25-year-old appears to have put team success ahead of personal goals added Wiggins.
I tipped him to win the green jersey, but it looks as though he has put his own individual success and chances to one side for that of the team, which shows the amount of belief that they have in their leaders.
Elsewhere, during episode nine of the third season of the Bradley Wiggins show, Wiggins and Lloyd take a closer look at why Ineos look a bit 'weird', discuss how the team have transformed in so many ways over the past 18 months and remark on how Jumbo have the hallmarks of Dave Brailsford’s team during their own dominant era.
Stage 5 - a 183-km trip from Gap to Privas – offers an opportunity for the sprinters on Wednesday, before the peloton heads up Mont Aigoual the following day, giving the GC contenders another chance to lay down a marker.
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