Sir Bradley Wiggins says he's unsure he will make Team Sky's Tour de France line-up

Shane Sutton also expresses doubts, says 2012 champ will have to prove he deserves a place on merit

by Simon_MacMichael   April 16, 2014  

Giro Napoli copyright Simon MacMichael 002

Sir Bradley Wiggins, who less than two years ago became the first British rider to win the Tour de France, has admitted he may not ride in this year’s race. Former Team Sky coach Shane Sutton, whom Wiggins has described as a “father figure,” has also expressed doubts about whether the 2012 yellow jersey winner will be in Yorkshire for the Grand Départ of the 101st edition of the race in July as Chris Froome looks to retain his title.

Speaking after his ninth-place finish at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, Wiggins, quoted on BBC Sport, said: "One thing this team has is a lot of strength in depth, particularly in the mountains."

Last week, in reply to The Independent’s Robin Scott-Elliott who asked him if Wiggins and Froome would ride the Tour together this year, Sutton said: "Do you want me to bullshit you or tell you the truth?

"Do I see Chris and him riding together? I would hope so. But I'm not so sure. Brad has to roll his sleeves up and get the work done and get in that team – being in Britain, he wants to make the Tour."

The relationship between Wiggins and Froome has long been a frosty one, and despite signs of a thaw over the winter, no-one would claim they are close.

"That Tour team really is Froome's team – he's the current holder and there's a lot of faith in him at Team Sky," noted Sutton, who was last week appointed technical director of British Cycling and succeeds Sir Dave Brailsford as the man in charge of the national team.

He continued: “They will put the best riders available on the grid for Chris to win the Tour come July and I'm not sure whether Brad is going to be on that list. Only Brad can say that by winning big races and showing the team he is worthy of his place."

Wiggins said: "I'll do everything possible to try and be there but, as Shane Sutton said, it is Chris's team and he'll have a big say in who he puts around him and who he's confident having in front of him in the mountains.

"I would love to be there. I've proved I've got the legs at the moment and I'm coming to where I need to be now, if I can just push on."

Just 12 months ago in the build-up to the Giro d’Italia, Wiggins insisted that he was capable of becoming the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win both the French and Italian Grand Tours in the same season – despite Sky team principal Brailsford insisting that 2012 runner-up Froome would be lead the team.

But his campaign in Italy ended prematurely due to illness, and a knee injury led to Sky announcing that he would not figure in its team for the Tour almost a month before the race, won by Froome, began.

18 user comments

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Could Brad let the Tour of California slide and take on the leaders role for the Giro now that Porte won't be riding it I wonder?

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
16th April 2014 - 13:45

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Brad in the Giro as the Sky leader? Unfortunately I really don't see that at all.

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posted by Bobbinogs [55 posts]
16th April 2014 - 14:27

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Is Richie Porte still suffering from illness? Or is he injured?

michael h marston

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posted by Opie [4 posts]
16th April 2014 - 14:49

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Porte said he wants to concentrate on the Tour. Which is odd. Leaves only Wiggins as a possible leader for the Giro. Unless Henao come back from his 'issue'

posted by jimmylolly [3 posts]
16th April 2014 - 15:01

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What I read a few weeks ago was the tour was Portes this year. So if its Froomes team, that seems to put Porte out of the picture for taking on the tour.

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posted by Gkam84 [8680 posts]
16th April 2014 - 15:40

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Bit of kidology going on here i reckon.
Sutton making idle threats to 'motivate' Wiggins and Wiggins trying to divert attention away from himself to ease any pressure to win stuff and quash any 'rivalry' nonsense.
Bit daft they have to do this but the media (and us as consumers of that media) require it.

posted by Some Fella [715 posts]
16th April 2014 - 15:50

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jimmylolly wrote:
Porte said he wants to concentrate on the Tour. Which is odd. Leaves only Wiggins as a possible leader for the Giro. Unless Henao come back from his 'issue'

Henao was riding again for Sky the other week. But with Porte out of the Giro, Brad looks a good option as team leader.

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
16th April 2014 - 17:05

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Gkam84 wrote:
What I read a few weeks ago was the tour was Portes this year. So if its Froomes team, that seems to put Porte out of the picture for taking on the tour.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/porte-to-skip-the-giro-ditalia

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
16th April 2014 - 17:06

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Wrong Henao - it was his cousin. G will be given the Giro having stepped in on Paris-Nice at the last minute. Porte felt he wouldn't be ready.

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posted by Tovarishch [44 posts]
16th April 2014 - 17:15

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n

posted by seanboy [23 posts]
16th April 2014 - 17:26

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Tovarishch wrote:
Wrong Henao - it was his cousin. G will be given the Giro having stepped in on Paris-Nice at the last minute. Porte felt he wouldn't be ready.

That'll teach me to trust what Carlton Kirby says!

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
16th April 2014 - 17:27

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Some Fella wrote:
Bit of kidology going on here i reckon.
Sutton making idle threats to 'motivate' Wiggins and Wiggins trying to divert attention away from himself to ease any pressure to win stuff and quash any 'rivalry' nonsense.
Bit daft they have to do this but the media (and us as consumers of that media) require it.

Agree. Also, if it's all "up in the air" until the last minute, it helps to disrupt rival team strategies too.

posted by MrGear [84 posts]
16th April 2014 - 17:27

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never had much time for wiggins before last weekend,but after the great ride he put in at Roubaix,im starting to warm to him a bit more,seems like more of a team player this year,would be a shame for him not to get to ride the tour in his own country

posted by seanboy [23 posts]
16th April 2014 - 17:29

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Gotta say I think he was awesome in Paris Roubaix. Personally I'd leave Froome out and give it to Wiggo. I don't dislike Froome as such, he's just not very interesting.

posted by banjokat [20 posts]
16th April 2014 - 17:51

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wiggo worked his arse off at Roubaix , been twenty odd years since a tour winner rode the race . Has anyone yet seen any reason why he should not ride the tour .
Strikes me mr froome has done sweet fa this year so far , would love to see wiggo back ,

posted by trevisotart [11 posts]
16th April 2014 - 22:01

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With cobbles featuring in this year's Tour Wiggins' strong ride in Paris-Roubaix may have earned himself a place in the team.

Personally, I don't think Sky will have a serious contender for the Giro. I think Cataldo will lead the team and Swift will go for stage wins. Hopefully they will select a few youngsters like Dombrowski and Puccio too.

posted by NeilG83 [222 posts]
16th April 2014 - 23:41

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Thanks Brad you were great on and off the bike but it's done now find another goal

posted by Digy46 [2 posts]
17th April 2014 - 19:58

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NeilG83 wrote:
With cobbles featuring in this year's Tour Wiggins' strong ride in Paris-Roubaix may have earned himself a place in the team.

Personally, I don't think Sky will have a serious contender for the Giro. I think Cataldo will lead the team and Swift will go for stage wins. Hopefully they will select a few youngsters like Dombrowski and Puccio too.

Very true unless they chuck in Nieve as team leader or will he be kept back for the Vuelta ?
Regardless of that i think Wiggo will go to the Tour as part of the team and give it one last hurrah before retirement on the road beckons and then having a go at the Rio Olympics .

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2664 posts]
17th April 2014 - 21:18

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