Welcome to hell, Wiggo

Source: “Sky Sports”

The last year’s Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins, pointed to the Giro of Italy after getting his greatest aim. Everyone thought that it was a strange choice, as those riders who show enough strength to fight for the Tour tend to focus their entire career into the French race. Far more in the case of Wiggins, who is 33 and will not have many other chances to repeat his success in France.

He said that he wanted to win another 3 weeks race and Giro is the second most prestigious race of the world. Probably Wiggins thought that he could use the same method that he used in the Tour. Getting the same good shape that he had last year, use his teams strength to control the peloton and thanks to his superiority in time trials, get the pink jersey in Brescia. Turn the Giro into a velodrome and rule with the power of his sophisticated method of data and scientific stats.

Now that 11 stages of the course race have been ridden, we can say that Wiggins was wrong and reality has shown that winning the Giro is much difficult than winning the Tour, in particular for a rider with his features.

First of all, although the first week in Italy is not as hard as in France, where the peloton flies during 7 days and there is much stress to get the first positions of the bunch, in Italy the first week is full of death traps. Short but steep climbs, stages with not a single flat kilometre, bad weather and so on. In Wiggins’ case, his main problem during the first week has been a combination of two factors: bad weather and dangerous descents. He lost time and showed weakness when the road went down and he also caught a cold, what did not allow him to show his real abilities. In fact, he told in the start of the race that data said he was in his best shape ever.

He is actually fourth and more than 2 minutes down in the GC. Surely, taking into account that a 56 kilometres long time trial has been ridden, before starting the Giro he expected to reach at this point wearing the pink jersey with a great advantage. He managed that scenario in his mind.

The real situation is quite different: if he wants to win the Giro he needs to attack and get time in the stages which he expected just to defend his jersey. In this new scenario, Wiggins is not the favourite to win the Giro and he is not even the only option for his team. Some think about Rigoberto Uran as team leader, a better climber than him who has never shown weakness in the descents. He has already won a stage with a great demonstration of strength taking advantage of the other leaders’ control of his team mate.

If he had not wait to Wiggins the rainy day that the Briton descended, in his words, “like a girl”, he would be just one minute behind Nibali in the GC. Unfortunately for him, he had to wait and team managers will not entrust him to lead the team so soon. Probably they will commit the same mistake as in the 2011 Vuelta. Then Froome showed that he was more capable of winning the race than Wiggins and he lost time working for him. Afterwards, if he had not lost that time, he probably would have beaten Cobo. And the story seems to repeat.

There is still much more to come: many steep ascents, dangerous descents, attacks from the Colombian and Italian riders, controversy inside Team Sky and so on. At this time nothing seems advantageous for Bradley Wiggins, but he tries to send the message that he will no surrender.

Last year, in the Tour, Wiggins and Team Sky played the role of the hammer and got a crushing victory. Now Wiggo is the nail and it is difficult to think that he will recover and become the hammer again in such an unfavourable scenario as the hard third week of the Giro.

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Spanish sport loses all credibility

Source: Dani Pozo (AFP)

We all knew that Operacion Puerto was no more than a cover-up strategy to avoid further damages in the national sport. As doping was not a crime when the mentioned Operation was carried out, Fuentes and company could only be banned for acting against public health. The highest prison sentence request was a two years one. The final sentence, one year prison condemn and four-years ban to work as a sports doctor He will not go to prison becouse of his lack of criminal record. Ignacion Labarta was also condemned for four months and Yolanda Flores, Vicente Belda and Manolo Saiz were absolved.

But the worst new was not that these cheaters were almost all absolved and condemned with such light sentences. The fact that embarrasses the public opinion, the world of sport and the international athletes is that, according to the judge’s sentence, we will never know whose blood was inside the more than 200 bags discovered under Fuentes charge.

Although the Spanish Antidoping Agence has stated that they will appeal that decision, we should not rely any more on Spanish justice. It is widely known that Spain has been indulgent with doping and cheaters for years. Probably most of the greatest achieves by Spanish athletes were accomplished thanks to performance enhancing drugs and a permissive legislation and a loose control of doping.

Recently, the Spanish government has approved a brand new anti-doping law, mainly because such a permissive country as Spain could hardly request 2020 Olympic Games. So they make that new law for making up such a flagrant lack of responsability against doping.

But now, after 7 years, Spain had the opportunity to show that they really want to fight against cheaters and doping. A wasted opportunity, as we know that more than a hundred athletes used Eufemiano’s prohibited methods to get sport success but we probably never know their name. Press unveiled some years ago whose bags were the codenamed blood samples, but  as they discovered ones, they omitted others, probably the names of the greater athletes.

And those ones that were responsible of the greatest doping system never discovered in Spain have been almost absolved. Nor Saiz either Belda have been condemned. Both cheaters and liars that have deeply hurt our sport and never apologised, that treated riders as machines to get success and that changed cycling into a circus of unbelievable performances, have been absolved.

Shame on Spanish sport and authorities. Open bar for dopers and cheaters. Before the new law was approved Spain was the paradise of doping and dopers. Many athletes have stated that (Read the Reasoned Decision by USADA). Doctors as Del Moral, Fuentes, Padilla and many others have acted as scientifics of doping without limit. The Spanish sport grew to become the greatest power and we already know why. Doping has never have limits. Everything has been cheating and covering up. No justice here. No more reliability on Spanish sport.