Yates is chasing a second Grand Tour career victory to follow up on his 2018 Vuelta a España win, as the Giro kicks off in Turin on Saturday (May 8).
The 28-year-old came within days of victory in the Giro in 2018, before he dramatically fell out of contention in the final week.
Wiggins, the first British winner of the Tour de France, believes Yates is the man to take home the maglia rosa this year, making him the third British winner of Giro.
Former pro and now GCN presenter Wiggins told Cycling Weekly: “I just think I think Simon still has that air of strength about him in his no nonsense attitude, the way he gets on with things. He's not a big talker. He doesn't sort of shout from the rooftops about what he's going to do.”
Yates, winner of the Tour of the Alps, faces some tough competition in Italy, most notably from bookies’ favourite Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), who has flown under the radar so far this year.
But Bernal has been dealing with back problems that hampered his 2020 season, which Wiggins feels may have knocked his confidence following his Tour de France win back in 2019.
Wiggins said: “I think he’s lost that invincibility a little bit through his back problems last year.
“There was a period where whenever he went into a race he was the favourite for it.”
Wiggins added that Bernal was once the outright Tour de France leader for Ineos, but has since fallen down the order: “It shows that there's, there's an air of uncertainty around this form and fragility as well.”
The 2021 Giro d’Italia start list is also stacked with British talent, as Yates is joined by the likes of GC contender Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) and climber James Knox (Deceuninck - Quick-Step).
On the current wave of British talent, Wiggins said: “It’s brilliant and it’s a marker of where the sport is now. We’re blessed with so many great riders, all great personalities in their own right.”
With GCN+ you can watch every km of the Giro live and ad free. For more details visit https://welcome.globalcyclingnetwork.com/giro (opens in new tab)
Wiggins will be on hand throughout the Giro to offer more of his insight and analysis.
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