The geographical location of the entire channel is sensitive, as is evident from the Brexit process: Great Britain includes England, Scotland and Wales. Together with Northern Ireland and the smaller British Isles, they form the United Kingdom. Ireland stands alone and is proud of it.
Witness several fierce reactions to Viggins’ TV statement after Stage 10. The 40-year-old Englishman divided the country into two parts, the “Bennett Gate” was born. The question in Ireland was, was it a joke or another attempt to claim the success of the Irish game as a British?
Anger among some reached unprecedented heights, with “shameless” Wiggins getting wind from the front. The 2012 freak tour winner did not understand anything, was not surprised and made it very clear in an Instagram story. “Of course it was a joke, Jesus Christ, let’s do a normal job. Of course Bennett is Irish. He’s proud of it and that’s why I’m not I. British.”
“I find it unbelievable. Sorry if you feel bad. But is that how journalism works today. Are you making that title? What are we doing?”
Wiggins, however, could not resist: “Bennett is 100 percent Irish. Or not, maybe he was born in Belgium like me. So let’s claim him as a Belgian”, Wiggins joked. “Grow up. I can’t believe this is haunting me all day now, no better.”