Bradley Wiggins, one of the stars of the London Olympics and the 2012 Tour de France winner, expects to miss this year’s Tour de France, stoking his rivalry with Team Sky teammate and defending Tour champion Chris Froome.
“I am gutted,” Wiggins, who co-owns the British record with seven Olympic medals, told the BBC on Friday. “I feel I am in the form where I was two years ago at the 2012 Tour de France. I also understand that cycling is a team sport, and at the end of the day it’s about the team winning, and that team is Team Sky, and Chris is defending champion.
Wiggins said he could still be on the Team Sky roster for July’s Tour de France if Froome suffers injury in next week’s Criterium du Dauphine.
“As defending champion, [Froome] has a say who he has around him,” Wiggins, 34, told the BBC. “He’s had guys that go to all his buildup races, training camps throughout the year, his kind of group of riders. Obviously, I’ve been following a different path.”
Wiggins and Froome have had icy relations since at least the 2012 Tour, when Wiggins was Team Sky’s leader with Froome as a support rider. Wiggins went on to win Olympic gold in the time trial in London, with Froome bagging bronze.
Froome won the 2013 Tour de France as Team Sky’s leader, but Wiggins was absent from the stage race, citing a knee injury. Wiggins and Froome have not ridden together in any race this season.
Wiggins had previously said since last year that he was willing to return to the Tour as a support rider for Froome.
Wiggins’ contract with Team Sky is up at the end of the season.
“Now if I want to go to the Tour again, the reality is that I might have to go elsewhere,” he said.