Sir Bradley Wiggins says he’s looking forward to racing this season with the man who last year succeeded him as Tour de France champion, his Sky team mate Chris Froome.
The pair are scheduled to race together in Italy during March, although there’s no word yet on whether Wiggins may support Frome as he seeks to defend his yellow jersey in the Tour in July.
Next month will mark a year since they last rode together for Sky, although they did ride in national colours in the World Championship road race on what proved to be a disappointing day for the British team.
“A lot of these things, we spend so much time apart last year, we raced in Oman then we didn’t see each other for such a long time, so I think that in itself leaves a bit of a gap, really,” a bearded Wiggins said in a video interview broadcast on the Team Sky website.
“We’re the two elder statesmen of the team, the two riders who have had the most success within Team Sky, so I think it almost seems strange that we didn’t race together at all last year,” he went on.
It’s no secret that Wiggins and Froome aren’t close, but the former said that a better relationship between them would benefit Team Sky.
“I think the more we could communicate, the more we can race together, it’s better for everybody in the team,” he reflected.
Wiggins, who in 2012 became the first British winner of the Tour, with Froome runner-up, missed last year’s Tour, ostensibly through injury.
However, the fact his omission from the Sky squad was announced almost a month before the race began had some wondering whether that was a convenient excuse on Sky’s part due to uncertainty over whether he would support Frome or seek to ride his own race.
During 2013, the extent to which relations between the two riders had broken down during the previous year’s race became apparent, with team principal Sir Dave Brailsford even threatening to fine Wiggins should he fail to follow team orders.
However, the pair patched things up at a training camp on Majorca last month after a good chat.
Froome said afterwards: “It was very constructive and we are in a good place now. It was important we did that and it was important for the team, too.
“To be honest we should have done it a very long time ago, just to clear the air, but we are on good terms now.”
Wiggins has returned to the same location to train this month, and told Sky Sports: “We were on camp in December here in this hotel and we spent time together.
“He’s off now doing his training in South Africa until I think his first race in Oman.
“I’ll be here for most of January, but we’re racing together, our first race together is Tirreno [-Adtriatico] in March, I’m looking forward to that.
Froome was runner-up to Vincenzo Nibali at last year's Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Astana rider, who had joined the Sky pair on the 2012 Tour de France podium in Paris, went on to win the Giro d'Italia, a race Wiggins began with high hopes of winning only to withdraw halfway through illness.
While Frome will be heading to the Gulf next month to defend his Tour of Oman title, Wiggins’ own season will begin on the island where he has been training, with the Challenge Mallorca.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.