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Team Sky poised for rare pairing of previous winners from same country

When the Tour de France rolls out of Leeds on July 5, Sir Bradley Wiggins says he will fill whatever role Team Sky asks in order to be on that start line.

After making history as the first Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012, Sir Bradley missed the 2013 edition because of injury. Team-mate Chris Froome took the win, and Wiggins is determined to line up next to the defending champion this year.

Sir Bradley and Team Sky are currently on a training camp in Majorca. He will start his season at the four-day Challenge Majorca race series on February 9.

Wiggins told Sky Sports News: “I’d love to be back at the Tour de France. That’s the long-term goal - to be part of that successful team.

“I missed it last year and had to watch it on the TV. When you see it from the outside then you see just how great the Tour de France is.”

“Obviously there’s a huge opportunity with it starting in the UK this year. Coming back as a former winner and it being there is fantastic.”

If Sky fields both Sir Bradley and Chris Froome, it will be the first time a team has rolled out two Tour de France winners from the same country since Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain rode for Banesto in 1993.

Sir Bradley said: “To be back at the Tour de France, back in the team in whatever capacity alongside the defending champion Chris Froome, two British winners in the Tour starting in the UK - it’s going to be quite an experience.”

“At this stage, all my winter training has been about hitting the ground running in the early races. I want to get off to a flying start as I did in 2012.

“I want to perform well in the early season. I’ve got some good goals early season, building up to the Tour of California in May. I want to start performing well out there in America.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

13 comments

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banjokat [20 posts] 3 years ago
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Delgado and Indurain rode for Banesto in '93. Sorry, I'm pedantic (and I was there)!

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Flying Scot [946 posts] 3 years ago
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It was Banesto, I still have the cap, jersey and shorts.

A bit tight these days....

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Simon_MacMichael [2494 posts] 3 years ago
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Technically, iBanesto.com in 1993, but commonly still referred to as Banesto  3

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Gkam84 [9100 posts] 3 years ago
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Are you sure Simon....I hate to argue, but the internet wasn't even properly "born" in 1993...there were less than 1000 websites and I bet iBanesto.com was not one of them, nor the team name.

I believe that came into being around 98/99....

But anyway, I want to see Wiggo ride as a team leader, fail and let Froome show him up  24

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therevokid [1013 posts] 3 years ago
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1990-2000 banesto
2001-2003 ibanesto.com

Who'd have thought it !!!!
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movistar_Team

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Miles253 [198 posts] 3 years ago
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Be good to see which of them outshines the other, and who is the super domestique

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MuddyGoose [53 posts] 3 years ago
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They'll both play support.

Team Sky take it in turns to win and it's Richie Porte's turn this year!

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700c [1136 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

But anyway, I want to see Wiggo ride as a team leader, fail and let Froome show him up  24

by saying he wants to ride in 'whatever capacity' means he would be prepared to support another teammate - so I doubt this scenario would happen - as much as you might want it to.

But we'll see - he's been known to change his opinion!

I think Wiggins is capable of winning again if he had full team support behind him - but expecting that from Froome is very unlikely as he sees himself as the stronger rider. It was hard enough getting him to support when he was in a domestique role.

You could argue, why should either support the other if they're both in form - perhaps it could be a 'two leader' team? I think the public would love to see that but I doubt Sky would risk it to achieve the GC..

The cat and mouse nature of Grand Tour riding, won and lost by making attacks in the mountains definitely favour Froome over Wiggins. Doing a long TT stage would favour Wiggins over Froome. Ditto going for the hour record or other track events. Does that make either the 'better cyclist' - I would say no, they just have strengths in slightly different areas.

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jollygoodvelo [1652 posts] 3 years ago
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I think he'll be on the start line. I wouldn't be surprised to see him drop out at the first rest day though, once Froome has made it safely over the cobbles and up to la Planche des Belles Filles (where Wiggo got into yellow).

Cynic, moi?

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago
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I really hope this saga is just put to bed so that Wiggins and Froome can ride together and it isn't a constant new story. Doubt it'll happen though

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nortonpdj [174 posts] 3 years ago
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Porte will be riding GC for Sky at the Giro. If he rides TdF (and I hope he does) he'll be carrying bottles.

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seanboy [23 posts] 3 years ago
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all wiggins is good for now is fetching bottles for froome!!,

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hairyairey [303 posts] 3 years ago
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Have people forgotten who was runner up to Wiggins when he won? Does it really make any difference

Makes perfect sense to aim for a Froome/Wiggins (in no particular order again) double at the top of the podium again. At least that way you have a "spare" if one can't finish!

I'd like to see us dominate the event for years - not least to annoy the French...