Monday 12 March 2012

Wiggins achievement in perspective

Wiggins in yellow with his Team Sky support
earlier this week
 "I'm on that list of riders who won Paris‑Nice, the Dauphiné. There's just one left now to win."

So said Bradley Wiggins yesterday after winning the 2012 Paris-Nice to add to his 2011 win in the Criterium de Dauphiné Liberé. But who else in on that list?

Well 3 time Tour de France winner Louison Bobet (1954-6), five time Tour Champions Jacques Anquetil (1957, 1961-4) and Eddy Merckx (1969-72, 1974) and Raymond Poulidor who while he never won le Tour did win the 1964 Vuelta a España. It means that of the five names of those who have won the two eight-day Tours only Wiggins has yet to win a Grand Tour and along with Poulidor, who was up against Merckx is the only one yet not to have won le Tour.

Here's another thing, apart from Poulidor, Wiggins is the only one to have won the Dauphiné first. Anquetil thrice (1963, 65-6), Merckx (1971) and now Wiggins 2011-12 are the only riders to be champions of both at the same time. The first time the other two did it they went on to win their third Tours. 

Wiggins isn't talking himself up too much ahead of July instead saying:

"I don't know if I'm a favourite [for the Tour] but I'm one of maybe five riders who can do something there [overall] this summer. I said Paris-Nice was a stepping stone, no disrespect for Paris-Nice. But I must continue that progression to July now. Lance Armstrong warned me recently not to burn too many matches for July. It's certainly a long trail."

But he is taking the advise of the seven times winner. Only the Tours of Catolonia and Romandie, his defense in the Dauphiné are where he will be competing ahead of the three weeks in July in which he could make history. 

But he already has as a winner of both, indeed a concurrent holder of, the Dauphiné and Paris-Nice titles.

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