Adversity isn’t new for Bradley Wiggins, who has battled through inclement weather, illness and faulty equipment thus far in the Tour of Italy. With his back against the wall, Higgins is at his best, which is why he will pull off the unthinkable by winning the race.
He’s attempting to make history as the first Brit to win this historic competition.
Wiggins had an average go-around Thursday, finishing in the main pack to maintain the gap between him and leader Vincenzo Nibali at two minutes, five seconds with 10 grueling stages of the race remaining.
Illness plagued Wiggins Thursday, leaving the athlete admitting he was feeling less than 100 percent for most of the day.
“I’m not feeling very good at the moment,” Wiggins said, according to the Daily Mail. “It’s been a pretty rough 24 hours. I have a chest infection and a bog-standard head cold.”
Despite the agony, weakness and pain Wiggins is dealing with, he knows what’s at stake from here on out.
It’s a miracle Wiggins is as close to Nibali as he is. His fate could have been much worse, as he crashed en route to finishing Stage 7. He rebounded remarkably over the weekend during the individual time trial by overcoming a blown tire to clock the second-fastest time of the day.
To overcome such adversity and not win, regardless of the sport or competition, would be disheartening. Wiggins has all the confidence in the world to continue on and prosper.
He’s overcome so much, both physically and mentally.
Moreover, Wiggins is due for a much-needed and long-awaited triumph. The British cyclist hasn’t won a competition since last August, and has never come close to a podium finish in the Tour of Italy. His best finish was 40th overall in 2010.
He’s not an explosive rider, especially going uphill. Nor does he have the tools to blow away the competition with lightning-like speed and effectiveness.
But his demeanor and endless perseverance will allow him to make a historic comeback, and further defy the ghastly odds that have been thrown in his path thus far.
So, what makes Wiggins worthy of winning this race, you say? Easy. Last year, Wiggins emerged from the depths of the pack as the best all-around stage racer in cycling. He’s capable of gaining ground on his opponents in various time trials, and holds his ground during the mountain portion of races.
Wiggins is the Cinderella story of the Tour of Italy, and he deserves to win it, no matter the cost.