• Dave Brailsford, Team Manager of Team INEOS (Velo)Source: Velo
Former British Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins has criticised the selections of Ineos-Grenadiers' general manager Dave Brailsford, questioning the omissions of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas after Stage 15 saw their top riders crash out of the race for the yellow jersey.
By
SBS Cycling Central

14 Sep 2020 - 8:08 AM 

Main INEOS Grenadiers contender Egan Bernal had a disastrous day on the Grand Colombier, dropping seven minutes behind GC leader Primož Roglič, falling ten spots to 13th place in the rankings and effectively ending his chances at Tour de France glory in 2020.

'I was empty' - Bernal's Tour de France crushed on the Colombier
A second yellow jersey for Egan Bernal lies in tatters as he buckled under the pressure inflicted by the swarm of Primož Roglič's men on the Grand Colombier.

Elsewhere, Thomas and Froome, who have five Tour titles between them, are currently competing at the Tirreno-Adriatico after being excluded from the Ineos tour team for apparent lack of form.

And Wiggins, a member of the team from 2010 to 2015, suggested even an out-of-form Thomas would have been able to stay with the top climbers in Stage 15, predicting he would have performed similarly to Jumbo-Visma's Tom Dumoulin and Trek-Segafredo's Richie Porte.

When asked if he believed the team was missing Thomas and Froome during the Eurosport telecast, Wiggins said, "Definitely... I think you take your big players to races like that."

"Just their presence at the dinner table, their presence at the flat stages in the lineup... particularly Geraint. I can't see Geraint not being in the same position as Tom Dumoulin."

"With Bernal falling away I can still see Geraint there in a similar space to where Richie Porte is. Geraint not on form will probably be where Richie Porte is at the moment, Geraint on form would be challenging to win the race.”

Porte leads into final metres of Grand Colombier climb
Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) continues to impress at the Tour de France, again looking the best of the rest of the climbers behind the top two on the general classification.
Porte's support proving 2020 is no repeat of past mistakes
It's been a long time since the 2016 incarnation of Richie Porte with BMC produced his best-ever performance in a Grand Tour, a fifth on the general classification that could have been so much better with the same support that he received last night in an almost identical situation.

Wiggins also took aim at Ineos rider Richard Carapaz, who was involved in a crash during Stage 15, questioning how he was selected for the team ahead of Thomas and Froome.

“Chris Froome as a four-time winner I think has earned the right just to be there in that team, in that line-up," WIggins said. "If anything as preparation for the Vuelta a España. I don’t see how Richard Carapaz was a direct and comparable replacement for either of those riders.”

Wiggins continued to criticise the management of the team and claimed something was missing from the current line-up compared to squads in previous years.

“It’s a line-up that is so unlike the Sky and Ineos of the past," Thomas said. We’ve just Luke Rowe in there, it’s not the team it was from a British perspective of course. It’s just lacking something, an experienced head to just call those shots."

The riders and the viewers of the Tour de France have a rest day tomorrow, racing resuming with Stage 16 on Tuesday evening with a day in the mountains again on the agenda, with a punchy climb to Villard-de-Lans the final ascent. The stage begins on the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker at 8.55pm AEST on Tuesday evening, with the television broadcast set to start at 9.30pm on SBS VICELAND.