If revenge is a dish best served cold, then Otto, a.k.a. Sky team principal Dave Brailsford, was served a 10-course degustation of offal by Ken, a.k.a. Bradley Wiggins, on Wednesday in Ponferrada, writes Anthony Tan.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:38 PM

When I woke to the news this morning that Sir Wiggo had won, and imagined what he must be thinking right now, I couldn't help but think of one of the final scenes from A Fish Called Wanda.

Ken: Rev-enge!
Otto: [laughing] It's K-K-K-Ken! C-c-c-coming to k-k-k-kill me! How you gonna c-c-c-catch me, K-K-K-Ken?

Like Otto, played by Kevin Kline, did with Ken, played by Michael Palin, Brailsford has, unintentionally or otherwise, taunted Wiggins since late October last year, giving him the idea he would, if his results were satisfactory, be riding the 2014 Tour de France that would start in his home country, their home country.

By all accounts except Brailsford's they were. Yet on June 27, a week prior to the Grand Départ in Yorkshire, quite hypocritically, he justified his decision to exclude not just the 2012 Tour winner and potential super domestique to Chris Froome, but a bona fide second leader should anything happen to the defending champ of yesteryear.

"In tackling the difficult challenge of selecting this team," Brailsford said via a team press release, "we have stuck to a performance-first philosophy which has brought us considerable success, firstly at British Cycling and then with Team Sky, for more than a decade. Given the number of talented riders in Team Sky this approach has inevitably lead to some very tough decisions - however it's crucial to remain totally focused on the desired outcome and we're racing to win."

Something did happen to Froome. He crashed. Three times in two days. Leaving the team a headless chook.

[Ken drives at Otto with a steamroller. Otto laughs, until he realises his feet are trapped in cement, and his gun is empty]

Otto: Ken! Ken! Wait, wait, Ken! Kenny! I... may I call you Kenny?
Ken: Remember Wanda!
Otto: I got the deal of a lifetime! Fifty-fifty, you and me, what do you say! Okay, okay, okay, sixty-forty! That's my final offer!
Ken: REVENGE!
Otto: Wait, I got an idea! You take it all! Yeah, here's my boarding pass, Ken!
Ken: I'm gonna, I'm gonna k-ka, kill you!
Otto: Okay, fine, Ken! Come at me, give me your best shot! Go on, Ken! You don't have the guts, admit it!

Yes, they had Richie Porte who has long been touted as a Grand Tour winner-in-waiting. Yet by his own admission, Porte hasn't been on top of things since Tirreno-Adriatico in March, where a stomach bug forced him to pull out after four stages, then a week-and-a-half later exit the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya on the second day, followed by DNFs at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour de Romandie.

His sub-optimal performance at the Critérium du Dauphiné, held from June 2-9, where he finished 22nd overall, twenty rungs down on his podium position behind victor Froome the year previous, only highlighted the Tasmanian's lack of readiness to serve his leaders like he did the previous two Tours de France, let alone be a Plan B, should the situation arise...

As Murphy's Law would have it, the situation did arise as early as July 9, Stage 5, on the cobblestoned road to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut. Froome, compounding his crash from the day before, fell before the first section of pavé, then fell again, then found ride in a Jaguar. Porte, guided by Geraint Thomas, moved to eighth on GC, then second after La Planche des Belles Filles, allowing the team three days of false hope, before losing close to nine minutes to Vincenzo Nibali, the eventual winner, on Chamrousse.

For the remaining nine stages Brailsford was forced to justify his decision to exclude Wiggins, which he did poorly, repeatedly saying Sky would've taken the exact same team they did regardless.

Meanwhile, Wiggins realigned himself. He chose a lofty target, a crown Tony Martin held a stranglehold over the past three years - though importantly, a goal Brailsford had no say in - and without any distraction, he doubled down.

By the time he arrived in Ponferrada the form, condition, and mind were one before his September 24 date with destiny. "I've been through this so many times in the past, when I know the form and condition is there, I'm quite relaxed," he said after his championship-winning ride Wednesday. "I had a good team time trial on Sunday, I knew I was strong."

[the steamroller bears down on Otto]

Otto: Okay, you have the guts, good... wait!
Ken: Death!
Otto: Okay, I'm-sorry-I-ate-your-fish, okay? I'm-sorry!
Ken: Revenge!
Otto: Jesus, I said I'm sorry! What the fu-?

He was four seconds down on Der Panzerwagen after 12.23km but by the second at 23.2km Wiggins had reversed the deficit and was two seconds up. Controlling his hour-long effort beautifully - and yes, that record is on the cards in 2015 - he gained another seven seconds by km 35.28km, checkpoint three, then drove - no, make that steamrolled - it home to finish 26 seconds ahead of the defending champ after 47.1km.

Mission complete. 56 minutes, 25 seconds: The only man armed with an average over 50 clicks an hour - 50.092km/h, to be precise.

[Otto goes under the steamroller]

Otto: AAAAHHHH!
Ken: Got him!

This is what revenge tastes like, Sir Brailsford.

Next year he will target a win at Paris-Roubaix and the hour record, inexorably entering what he calls "full track mode" for the team pursuit at the 2016 Games in Rio, before calling it a day.

And all within his grasp. Rev-enge!