Sir Bradley Wiggins has retired from the Giro d’Italia after completing 12 stages of the 21.
In a previous article I wrote on the subject of Wiggo and the Giro, I speculated that, had Dante been a cyclist he would have included the Giro as one of his seven circles of Hell.
I’ve since been corrected; it was pointed out to me by a colleague that Dante illustrated nine circles, although my critic only knows this, having been recently educated by Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno.
For Wiggo, this Giro has been a trip to Hell, and only now, through his own choice is he on the way back. He and Team Sky have cited a chest infection as the reason for his withdrawal.
Another rider to withdraw is Ryder Hesjedal, defending champion of the Giro, also citing deteriorating health issues. What both riders also have in common is that they were both contenders for the Giro at the beginning but both were well and truly out of contention by the time they announced their withdrawal.
I am annoyed at both riders but particularly Wiggins because I hate to see people giving up and it’s no secret that I’m a fan of Brad’s.
Maybe this is the best thing for him to do, strategically and tactically, he can put this experience behind him and focus on the Tour de France, which in itself will reopen the Froome/Wiggins can of worms.
Personally, I don’t doubt that Wiggo has a chest infection but let’s just say I doubt that it’s so severe that it wouldn’t clear up over the course of a few days with some choice antibiotics.
I feel that he realised that through some bad luck, some poor choices and at times a lack of gutsy determination, he let the chance of a GC victory slip.
He made his mind up that there was no point in continuing for any other reason and he has set a somewhat bad example in sportsmanship by withdrawing from the race. I believe that he should stay and work for the team, Uran is still in with a shout for GC and the Colombian could probably do with all the help he can get in the stages to come.
Helping out a teammate might give Wiggo a better appreciation for the help he’s received to date and the help he might still be asked to provide come July.
image: © robkingcameraman