Will Wiggins Crack?
The battle for the Mailliot Jaune at the Tour looks like it is a done deal. Bradley Wiggins has been winning stage races all year, his Team Sky looks rock solid and the time gains in the TT look insurmountable. Seems like we may have seen this play out before in the Armstrong and Indurain eras when a solid lead in the first week TT demoralizes the competition and the following two weeks are more or less a procession to see who fills out the podium. This could likely be the case, but this is not Indurain or Armstrong going for the win. Wiggins still has not won a Grand Tour with his stage race domination coming in week long stage races.
Wiggins leads but he has some very experienced Grand Tour winners who are not ready to give up so easily chasing him. Vincenzo Nibali won the 2010 Vuelta, Cadel Evans is defending Tour champ and Denis Menchov won the Vuelta and the Giro. These guys have been through the rigors of Grand Tours and won. They know what it takes to conserve energy and when to attack.
Memories of the Vuelta may still haunt Wiggins. Bradley Wiggins cracked in the last week of the Vuelta last year and lost the race to Juan Jose Cobo on the brutal Angrliu climb.
Wiggins clearly cracked on the Angrilu.
Froome vs Cobo as Wiggins is clearly off the back.
In 2009 Wiggins was as high as third place before he dropped down to sixth after a mountain stage attack by the Schlecks. Wiggins eventually gained back some places in the TT to finish forth.
From Wiggins Grand Tour history it looks like he is susceptible to losing time in the third week mountain stages.