There is a lesson that many dominant personalities learn the hard way and that is that while winning is important if you want to be truly loved by the fans, it is important to be generous when defeated. It was a thing up to five times. Tour de France Winner Bernard Henault knew, or at least pretended, but at least then realized there was an effort to be made. Pleading or not.

If this were a trait that even the most competitive fierce characters could come up with at the end, you’d think that those known for saying they’d be open, transparent and doing things in a modern way would have taken up the idea from the start. One can formulate it as a communication strategy that shapes the narrative, but let’s not be sympathetic to Dave Brailsford and the INEOS team.