Sir Bradley Wiggins
has admitted he is 'baffled' by Simon Yates' time-trial nightmare which has dramatically reduced his chances of winning this year's Giro d'Italia.
The Michelton-Scott rider is now 5:26 minutes behind race leader Valerio Conti and more than three-and-a-half off favourite Primo Roglic after Sunday's stage to San Marino which Yates described as 'a bit of a stinker'.
Yates had high hopes of a second grand tour success to add to his overall victory in last year's Vuelta a Espana, and Wiggins said he believed something must be seriously amiss.
Speaking on The Bradley Wiggins Show By Eurosport, Wiggins said: 'I'm not having Yates' performance (on Sunday). It was a dreadful performance.
'He's either sick, knee trouble, I don't know. If it's physical, I'd be shocked because of what he was saying a week ago, so that sounds unlikely.
'He seems confident, so if it is physical, then you're thinking, 'why did he say that a week ago'?'
However, prior to the resumption of the race on Tuesday, Wiggins said Yates still has a shot of another major title as he expected the pre-race favourites to emerge in the mountain stages.
Wiggins added: 'It's kind of all messed up and the odd socks are all over the place, but if you read between the lines, there is a GC battle forming amongst the people we expected to see.
'It will kick off very soon I think, when we hit the mountains. It's Roglic, (Vincenzo) Nibali, (Bauke) Mollema, and obviously Simon Yates, who has lost a bit of time.
'We knew Roglic was capable of that kind of performance. The time trial was made for him and he is on great form as well. He is the clear favourite now.'