Bradley Wiggins will not win this year’s Paris-Roubaix, according to BMC’s manager and former Classics specialist Allan Peiper

Allan Peiper, the Australian who is now the manager of BMC Racing and who was an accomplished cobbled Classics rider himself, believes Sir Bradley Wiggins has the firepower to perform at the Hell of the North, but told Cycling Weekly that he believed the combined might of the opposition would stop him from doing so.

The race is set to be Wiggins’s final outing for Team Sky.

“I think he’s got what it takes, but no I don’t think he can pull it off,” Peiper said.

“It’s just for the simple reason that there are so many specialists there: Fabian Cancellara, Niki Terpstra, Sep Vanmarcke. There are so many guys who have had years and years of experience in Roubaix and know how to ride that race.

“I’m not going to say it won’t happen, but I don’t think it will.”

Ian Stannard leads Niki Terpstra in the 2014 Dwars door Vlaanderen. Photo Graham Watson

Ian Stannard leads Niki Terpstra in the 2014 Dwars door Vlaanderen. Photo Graham Watson

Wiggins will resume his Classics campaign at this Friday’s E3-Harelbeke alongside Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Peter Kennaugh.

“I don’t see Bradley stepping up to that level where he’s going to ride away from [the favourites] and leave them behind,” Peiper added.

“And if he is in a front group, he’ll be marked, that’s for sure. To be marked and ride away from everybody, you’ve got to be a Cancellara or a Boonen on your best day.”

>>> Ian Stannard ‘gutted’ for Classics rival Boonen 

Tom Boonen will miss out on the chance to take a record-breaking fifth victory in the Roubaix velodrome after falling and dislocating his shoulder on stage one of this year’s Paris-Nice in March.

His absence could make for an interesting tactical dynamic as the combined might of Etixx-Quick-Step is reduced; Peiper believes Team Sky could shoulder some of the responsibility.

Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins during another sedate moment at Paris-Nice. Photo: Graham Watson

Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins both finished in the top ten of the 2014 Paris-Roubaix. Photo: Graham Watson

“It might make it less predictable, but it might put some onus on other teams to take some responsibililty, not just Quickstep all the time,” he said.

“Sky have been bulding their arsenal of Classics riders and Stannard coming to the front in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and winning two years in a row has given the team confidence that they can put their power behind him, and they’ve proved it works.

“I’d say Sky’s Classics team is as good as it’s ever been.”

  • The Awakening

    All these comments;

    “Bradley Wiggins will not win Paris-Roubaix, says Allan Peiper

    “I think he’s got what it takes, but no I don’t think he can pull it off,” Peiper said.

    “It’s just for the simple reason that there are so many specialists there: Fabian Cancellara, Niki Terpstra, Sep Vanmarcke. There are so many guys who have had years and years of experience in Roubaix and know how to ride that race.

    “I’m not going to say it won’t happen, but I don’t think it will.”

    IMHO, all these comments take the pressure off Bradley Wiggins.

  • Steve Bell

    It’s always easier to predict who won’t win.

  • chris

    very interesting insight, makes very good points although one thing we know about Brad is his preparation is normally spot on leading to the race, history shows this. Who’d have thought he’d win the Champs jersey! not me. I think if he feels good and is in the lead group and the cadence is fluid and the conditions all work out then it’s possible although he is marked unlike Stannard was recently.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    Wiggo will be the strongest rider on the day but unfortunately he’s never shown the kind of initiative or aggression that’s needed to win a race like this. I hope it’s not too late to find it.

  • John Westwell

    Wiggins might be going into the race as the number one for Sky, but I think it would be foolish to rule out Stannard. He proved he has the tactical nous as well as the legs to dictate a race, and if he has team mates with him at the end, I don’t think Sky will repeat Etixx-Quick Step’s horror story at Het Nieuwsblad.

  • David Bassett

    It is a shame that Bradley did not have faith in himself last year. He said that if he was to finish in the top ten he would be well pleased. He was the best rider there over the finishing miles and did not take advantage of it. The body language of Geraint Thomas was screaming out to Bradley to attack.
    Do your best Bradley it is all anyone can ask.

  • Lee Wingate

    interesting and to a degree I think he’s right in that it will be very difficult. BUT he is like a cancellara in that he’s a world class and current time trial WChamp, that doesnt seem to have stopped Fabian in years gone by. it’ll all come down to a bit of luck and great tactics….as well as good legs on the day. at the end of it, if you dont have the legs, you’re coming nowhere. Should be a fantastic race whatever, cant wait!