Some professional commentators have expressed their opinions as to whether Sir Bradley Wiggins will win Paris-Roubaix on Sunday April 12th.
Luca Paolini of the Katusha Team and winner of a most enthralling and challenging edition of Gent Wevelgem on Sunday 29th March says ‘Yes’.
Allan Peiper, Team BMC’s sporting manager says ‘NO’.
The Wattmeister writes both as a fan of Wiggins, but also as a former bookmaker. He has avidly watched from the comfort of his uncobbled sofa as the fledging season has unfolded via internet streaming and Eurosport. Some riders have shown exceptional form without a podium position to show for it. Matti Breschel, Jurgen Roelandts, Jens Debusschere, Stijn Vandenbergh (powerhouse of the peloton), Greg van Avermaet, Peter Sagan (despite the naysayers)…..
Some riders have shown similar super form and reaped their due rewards, Cavendish, Kristoff, Degenkolb, Stannard, Geraint Thomas, Luca Paolini…..
In Bradley’s case, he has long targeted Paris-Roubaix 2015, so we shouldn’t have expectations of good results in other events as the big race approaches. Bradley is a notoriously goal-orientated individual. He showed up prominently as the most super of domestiques in Omloop. Today in Stage 1 of Driedaagse de Panne, he rode for long periods on the front of the peloton, honing his form and strength….The Boss.
With only a few more days racing before Paris-Roubaix, it is difficult for an uninformed but keen spectator to accurately gauge his chances. It seems to The Wattmeister that the winner of Roubaix will have already shown his hand with a powerful display in one of the prominent Spring races. He would have put himself and his reputation on the line at some stage. For example: Zedenek Stybar in Strade Bianchi: Jurgen Roelandts in Gent-Wevelgem: Geraint Thomas, arguably the man in form, in E3 and Gent-Wevelgem, Alexander Kristoff on numerous occasions, but especially today in De Panne.
Therefore, while The Wattmeister thinks that Bradley could win on the velodrome in Roubaix, this victory is so sought after by so many other top one day specialists, that, notwithstanding the absence of Cancellara and Boonen, his current odds of 9/1 on Betfair are an extremely miserly representation of his chances.
No middle-aged weekend sprinter would be more happy to see this knight of the realm succeed in his stated goal on April 12th, but at the time of writing, The Wattmeister has not witnessed enough to place a few hard-earned copecks on the nose.