Sense of sedation in Brad's ground-out Tour success

Mike Tomalaris

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Like for like? Bradley Wiggins and Miguel Indurain have been compared because of their similar race-grind styles.

Has this been the most sedate Tour de France in almost 20 years? Michael Tomalaris muses on just that subject.

So has it? Those of us who adore everything this marathon three week bike race has to offer will surely not agree.

But the many who follow the Grand Tour as a once-a-year fix watching from the comfort of a lounge suite, have suggested otherwise.

Is Team Sky to blame for the lack of excitement?

Does the fact that Bradley Wiggins and Fabian Cancellara have been the only riders to wear the yellow jersey have something to do with the staleness of this year's event?

I'd like to think not, but there are certainly signs that suggest otherwise.

The Tour is all about dominating, controlling and winning, whatever the cost and whatever it takes.
 
There's no doubt Wiggins fits into this category extremely well - his performances have been clinical and methodical.

He has ridden at the front of the peloton with his Sky lieutenants, out of trouble, every day for three weeks.

He has done everything required to conquer the Tour, and all but barring a disaster, he will be crowned champion in Paris, the first Brit in Tour history.

But, while his success should not be underestimated, indeed praised, will it be remembered?

I would argue that history shows personality and panache generate the iconic moments in television sport, the moments we savour, the moments we love.

Eddie Merckx, Laurent Jalabert, Greg LeMond, Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador (to name a few) are past Tour winners who were blessed with such ingredients.

Sadly, as Wiggo rides into Tour history as the first winner from across the English Channel, I can't think of too many moments when he has been lauded for attacking the peloton.

Sure, some may say by defending the race lead he doesn't need to - this is understandable. But, the common comments to describe his style are, "lacking charisma" or "boring on the bike."

Some prefer to compare him, perhaps cruelly, with five-time Spanish winner Miguel Indurain, likened for his possession of a diesel-like engine, capable of success, sans flair.

Team-mate Christopher Froome thought about lighting up the race more than once, only to be put back in his box.

Take the likes of Thomas Voeckler, Alejandro Valverde, Peter Sagan and Luis Leon Sanchez - all have been praised for their attempts to ignite life into the race.

Perhaps the parcours has played into the hands of such a criticism, and Wiggins’ racing style.
 
Tour director Christian Prudhomme may have made a faux pas by positioning the first time trial in Arc-et-Senans before the Alpine stages and may have to re-think the structure of next year’s course as a result.

I can appreciate the amount of commitment and sacrifice it takes for any cyclist to win the Tour de France and the same applies to Wiggins.

That said, in a world where sport and entertainment are so closely intertwined, perhaps we shouldn't be looking to the man with the impressive sideburns.

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