Wiggo will accept Sky decision
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Wiggins has said he has no chance of retaining his Tour title next year. AFP photoTour de France holder Bradley Wiggins says he is happy to accept Team Sky’s decision over their leader for next year’s race, even if it means he doesn’t have a chance to defend his title.
Wiggins became the first British winner of the Tour earlier this year, but the announcement of next year’s mountainous route has led to suggestions that his Sky teammate Chris Froome, Wiggins’ back-up this year, might be better placed to win the race in 2013.
Froome, speaking to the Times yesterday, made it clear that he is hopeful of securing the leading role in next year’s Tour.
“The team are saying they are going to back me with the Tour this year. That’s directly from [Sky’s team chief] Dave [Brailsford]. He said: ‘You’re our man for the Tour. Focus on it,” Froome said.
Brailsford has yet to confirm Froome’s claims, giving Wiggins hope of being Sky’s main man again next year.
But the newly-crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year will have no complaints if he has to play second fiddle.
Wiggins, who followed up his Tour triumph with a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic time trial, told Sky Sports News: “The last four years, all the focus has been on the Tour de France for me, trying to win that race. Fortunately I did it this year, then it’s deciding what to do next.
“The Tour of Italy is something I’d love to win, in cycling terms it’s just as big as the Tour for me, but also going back as defending champion next year to try to win a second Tour.
“We’re very fortunate that we have two people that can win the Tour de France. Having two people equally as strong, trying to beat the likes of [Alberto] Contador and Andy Schleck, is going to work in our favor.
“It could be any one of us, but once we get on that line we all have a professional obligation. We saw this year what Chris did for me, it could be that I’ll be doing that for him next year for the team to win.”
Wiggins expects his team to go into the Tour with a clear idea of their leader.
“You go out there with a plan,” he said. “That plan may change during the race depending on crashes, illnesses or form, but you start out with a gameplan and follow that gameplan as much as possible. If that’s Froome then the whole eight riders will commit to Chris.”