Chris Froome extends with Sky - but Sir Bradley Wiggins on the way out?

New deal for reigning Tour de France champion, but speculation 2014 could be Wiggins' last at Sky

by Simon_MacMichael   December 24, 2013  

2013 Tour of Oman Stage 5 Wiggins looking after Froome (© Lloyd Images:Muscat Muncipality)

Tour de France champion Chris Froome is one of a number of Team Sky riders confirmed yesterday to have extended his contract with – but missing from the list was his predecessor in the yellow jersey, Sir Bradley Wiggins, whose current deal runs out in 12 months’ time.

Froome’s renegotiated contract reflects his status as the reigning champion in cycling’s biggest race, but the absence of a new deal for Wiggins - aged 33 - is already leading to speculation that 2014 may be his final year with the team.

Telegraph.co.uk says that Sky declined to confirm whether it had held negotiations with Wiggins, who with victory in September’s Tour of Britain belatedly rescued something from what had been a disastrous 2013 season.

The rider’s own representatives likewise did not comment on the implications of the four-time Olympic gold medallist going into the last year of his current deal without an extension, although they underlined that he did plan to respect his contract. 

Froome, aged 28, said: “This has been an incredible year for me and I’m delighted to finish it off by signing a new contract with Team Sky. I’ve been with this team since the start and I know this is the right place for me to continue to grow as a rider.

“It’s impossible to win races without the right team beside you so I’d like to thank everyone at the team for their continued support. It’s an honour to be a Team Sky rider and I hope to play a big part of its success for years to come.”

He’s not the only Sky rider to have had his contract extended. Australian Richie Porte and British rider Geraint Thomas were confirmed as having done so earlier this year.

They’re now joined by the British trio of Ian Stannard, Peter Kennaugh, Luke Rowe, plus the Italian Salvatore Puccio, Australia’s Chris Sutton, Danny Pate of the USA, Spain’s Zavier Xandio and David Lopez and the Colombian Sergio Henao.

The latter will be joined at the British WorldTour team next season by his cousin, Sebastian Henao, one of four new arrivals.

The others are the Australian Nathan Earle, plus Grand Tour Stage winners Mikel Nieve of Spain, who arrives from the defunct Euskaltel, and Irishman Philip Deignan, who joins from United Healthcare.

Team Sky Performance Manager Rod Ellingworth commented: “Everyone is excited to kick things off again in 2014 and we do so with what we believe is the most talented team in the world.

“We’ve consolidated what is an incredibly strong group of guys over the winter. The team’s core remains intact and that’s important going forward.

“Everyone is committed to keep improving and we always look to provide the best environment for riders to do that.”

Meanwhile, Sky Sports News will be airing an exclusive documentary about Froome next week.

The 30-minute programme, called Chris Froome: Made In Kenya follows the rider as he returned to his native country Kenya this autumn, and also includes exclusive video diaries from the Tour de France.
It will be shown at 7.30pm on December 30 and repeated on Sky Sports 1 at 6.30pm on December 31.

27 user comments

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We already know that Wiggins won't be signing a new deal. He said so himself a few months ago...

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/wiggins-to-quit-major-road-racing-in-2014

posted by studentcyclist [4 posts]
24th December 2013 - 9:18

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Clearly, Froomey's an excellent bike rider. And I don't want to sound unpatriotic or spoilt by recent British success. But am I alone in finding the prospect of Froome/Sky dominating Le Tour for years to come about as exciting as Vettel/Red Bull stranglehold on F1?

posted by Yennings [211 posts]
24th December 2013 - 9:22

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Just can't seem to like Froome at all.. Yes he's very impressive but boring.

posted by JonnyWright [7 posts]
24th December 2013 - 9:32

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Yennings wrote:
Clearly, Froomey's an excellent bike rider. And I don't want to sound unpatriotic or spoilt by recent British success. But am I alone in finding the prospect of Froome/Sky dominating Le Tour for years to come about as exciting as Vettel/Red Bull stranglehold on F1?

You're not alone – I find him utterly boring, and whilst it was great to see a British rider win the TdF – after Wiggo did it I was glad to get back to the idea of professional cycling being about individuals and trade teams, not flag waving.

posted by dtd [54 posts]
24th December 2013 - 9:34

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Even the most boring bike race I've ever seen is infinitely more interesting than any F1.

posted by JonSP [51 posts]
24th December 2013 - 9:51

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Agree with all the above.

posted by Chameleon78 [22 posts]
24th December 2013 - 9:52

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JonSP wrote:
Even the most boring bike race I've ever seen is infinitely more interesting than any F1.

+1 to that

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1244 posts]
24th December 2013 - 9:58

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I think the notion that Sky are going to dominate the Tour de France the next 'x' number of years is not something I'd bet on. All you need is some bad weather or a puncture at the wrong time and your tour is over. Its far from a done deal.

posted by mcvittees73 [14 posts]
24th December 2013 - 10:17

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If Sky is only focusing on the TdF then I agree with everything above, it will be quite boring, and best that Wiggo moves on.

If British teams/riders start concentrating on other big races it can only be a good thing for the sport.

Personally I want to see Wiggo back on the track

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
24th December 2013 - 10:55

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Don't understand why he is being tagged as boring, he rides in an attacking style compared to most modern riders. I think the story about how he got into the world tt championships by pretending to be the national cycling federation is one of the funniest stories in cycling and shows personality and determination in abundance. There are also not many riders that used to get chased by hippos on there club run.I don't think he will dominate cycling next year but if he does it will be totally deserved as he has worked hard to get there.You cant blame a rider for being better than others,its up to the rest to close the gap and make it competitive.Theres no such thing as an easy cycle race.

bikemonkey

posted by robcrow [44 posts]
24th December 2013 - 11:25

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I wouldn't assume that SKY will dominate the Tour for years to come - as a team in the 2013 edition they weren't in control of the race to the same extent as in 2012, and there were days when, if Froome hadn't been at the top of his game he'd have lost time. Yes, Froome currently looks head and shoulders the best all round rider, but Nibali, for example, isn't a million miles away.

This is the tine to enjoy Brirish success on the road...it might not last for ever.

As for Froome being boring...it takes all sorts. I wouldn't like to watch a team full of Wiggos any more than a team full of Froomes.

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posted by ragtimecyclist [125 posts]
24th December 2013 - 11:39

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posted by ragtimecyclist [125 posts]
24th December 2013 - 11:41

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I'd rather see Froome attacking up Mont Ventoux the way he did this year, than Wiggo dominate on the errr......time trial like he did last year.

There is no comparison in terms of who is a better more exciting rider to watch/respect.

posted by NDD [8 posts]
24th December 2013 - 12:25

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robcrow wrote:
Don't understand why he is being tagged as boring, he rides in an attacking style compared to most modern riders.

Totally agree. I can only assume that those who find him boring can refer to some other rider at the moment who is more exciting? Let's face it, Froome 'won' the tour (and several other very decent races) in 2013 by attacking. Who can forget Ventoux, or that day after Aix3 where he had to fight all by himself against a magnificent Moviestar team? The guy actually wins stages rather than doing ok, whilst waiting for a TT.

Sure, he is quiet and doesn't do the fun interviews like Wiggo or Cav but on a bike he is fantastic to watch, rather than the diesel engine stuff like Evans or Wiggins and that's what counts for me. I can't wait for Le Tour 2014 to see Frrome up against Quintana, Nibali and Rodriguez, bring it on!!

Such a shame he is not British Wink

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posted by Bobbinogs [55 posts]
24th December 2013 - 12:37

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Bobbinogs it totally right, those comments about Froome being boring it, what are you guys on ? Wiggo's tour win was the most boring tour in years, lets win 2 time trails and then try to keep with the climbers, no attacks, I love Wiggo as a rider and a person, he is very interesting, but his riding was boring but effective.

Now Froome, he attacks, he is unpredictable, keeps with the leaders without his team, how he survived that Moivestar attack still amazes me, he time trials like a deranged animal with his style of riding, yes I would agree he doesn't have the charisma of Wiggo but I watch the racers for the racing and not the personality/interviews.

posted by mikeprytherch [217 posts]
24th December 2013 - 13:07

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Horses for courses isn't it?

I prefer Wiggins as a rider and a character despite his riding style being as exciting as... well something lacking excitement...

For me I think this is because Wiggins always seems like he is stepping up and achieving something a little beyond his skills... a great TT guy yes, but tour winner? And the sporting spectacle of him achieving what on paper seems beyond him is to me great sport.

Froome riding style is a lot more animated, however it is clear that he's the best guy in the field. Watching him race is like watching a guy with an automatic rifle in a knife fight.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [265 posts]
24th December 2013 - 13:44

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Let's face it, the Meerkat is a more exciting racer, but lacks the "personality" off the bike Wiggo has. Not actually sure which I prefer. Was great watching Wiggo win the Tour, but was about as interesting as some of Indurain's TT based lockouts. Watching Froome chew the stem up those hills on the attack against the best climbers was far more enthralling.

In fact the most interesting bit of Wiggo's win was when Froome attacked "accidentally"... After all, if he was able to have made up enough time to win outright, shouldn't he really be sitting on 2 Tour victories? Or is that blasphemy?

So really it's a choice between entertainment in the race, and entertainment after the race...

Not so much a six pack as a barrel!

posted by Bigfoz [62 posts]
24th December 2013 - 16:21

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at the end of the day, bike races aren't won in interviews.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

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posted by Cooks [483 posts]
24th December 2013 - 18:51

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I prefer Froomes fiance to Wiggo's wife..Froome gets my vote Wink

posted by gareth2510 [136 posts]
24th December 2013 - 21:12

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Sky won't dominate for years. Other teams will adopt their training methodologies and riders who move on will pass the knowledge to their new team. I think Contador will have upped his game for this season also, he was embarrassed this tour he won't of liked that. I think this is going to be a good season.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

― George Carlin

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posted by Cyclist [144 posts]
24th December 2013 - 21:25

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Froome was a far more convincing winner and he showed more than a little panache on the Ventoux, whereas apart from leading out Cav on the Champs Elysees Wiggins seemed rather more workmanlike in his style.

Froome is younger and more likely to adhere to Sky's media sensibilities - whilst undeniably very well funded and professionsl they strike me as a bit control-freaky and not very rock and roll and perhaps Wiggo is too much of a loose cannon, especially given his previous behaviour.

Chapeau to Wiggo as he's achieved history and got the t shirt, but he strikes me as someone who realises he's hit the very highest of highs and that he can't sustain it, and I fear that the motivation has diminished.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
24th December 2013 - 23:39

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f1, like cycling, when televised, doesn't work without the personalities.

Like them or not, Schumacher, Alesi, senna, all shied their personality n their driving style, replicated out with the cockpit.

Froome, Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton, Vettell......?

As a mate said, just think how popular Andy Murray would be if he was a tennis playing Jenson button.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [524 posts]
25th December 2013 - 15:32

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NDD wrote:
I'd rather see Froome attacking up Mont Ventoux the way he did this year, than Wiggo dominate on the errr......time trial like he did last year.

There is no comparison in terms of who is a better more exciting rider to watch/respect.

amen to that. 2012 was the dullest tour I can remember, Wiggo's personality cannot hide the fact his talents allow him only to follow wheels on the climbs then dominate the TT's. Froome's efforts on the Ventoux were the stuff of legend and several times in the tour he was prepared to test out the strength of his rivals, rather than just cover attacks etc.

I cannot see Sky dominating numerous Tour's either, Movistar in particular have upped their game in response to Sky's approach to racing. Question is will we ever see Bertie contend for a win again?

posted by sorebones [109 posts]
26th December 2013 - 1:43

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I work from home each year to watch every minute of the TdF. I love Wiggo to bits but Froome is a much more entertaining rider.

Wiggo is brilliant at monitoring his power output and grinding the miles away. But Froome has a fantastic balance of monitoring his power output whilst riding on instinct to attack at the right time and crush the opposition.

Granted he's a nice bloke and pretty much the perfect professional athlete. To some that may be boring but I think he has a great opportunity to get his name down in history alongside Merckx, Indurain etc if he can avoid injury and any misfortune.

If you haven't watched a complete tour it'd be worthwhile starting to sweet talk your gaffer to spend three weeks at home next July, this guy is a bit special.

One name I would have liked to have seen on there is Ben Swift but I guess he has to prove himself in 2014 following his op this year. Does anyone know when he's contracted until?

My only fear in life is that in the event of my death, my wife will sell my bikes for what she thinks we paid for them.

posted by Velo-Chris [18 posts]
26th December 2013 - 5:47

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2013:

It was great to watch Froome attacking in the mountains.

It was horrible to watch Wiggins descending like an amateur (Giro), not worthy of a former tour winner.

Tour for 2014: Bauke Mollema on the podium!

posted by hennyjvr [4 posts]
27th December 2013 - 12:42

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hennyjvr wrote:

Tour for 2014: Bauke Mollema on the podium!

No chance: Belkin don't have the climbing power for GC contention. With Nibbles going for the Tour, it'll be between Sky, Tinkoff, Astana and Movistar. Can't wait!

But it's the Giro that's exciting me: 3 days in my country, with the TTT passing close by my house Big Grin

posted by s_lim [110 posts]
29th December 2013 - 9:38

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So, how's this working out for you then?

posted by DrDave [3 posts]
8th August 2014 - 18:00

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