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Team Sky boss says he still hasn't ruled out place in line-up for Sir Bradley Wiggins...

Sir Dave Brailsford says it is he, and not Chris Froome, who will decide the composition of the Team Sky line-up for next month’s Tour de France – and adds that Sir Bradley Wiggins may still be chosen for the race.

On Friday, Wiggins, winner of the race in 2012 told BBC Breakfast that barring injury or illness to defending Chris Froome, he would not be among the nine Sky riders at the Grand Départ in Yorkshire on 5 July.

While the relationship between Froome and Wiggins is known to be frosty, the revelation was greeted with dismay by many fans, and with Wiggins' high profile among the general public some also saw his apparent omission as a public relations mistake by Sky.

But David Walsh, writing in The Sunday Times [£], reports that team principal Brailsford said yesterday that the composition of the team had not yet been decided and he would only make a decision following the Critérium du Dauphiné, which Froome is riding, and Tour de Suisse, where Wiggins leads Sky’s challenge.

“Despite the impression that might have been created, the team for the Tour is not yet finalised. I will be the one making the decision on who is in the team,” Brailsford said.

He emphasised that neither Froome nor any other team member would have an influence on whether or not Wiggins is selected.

“I speak with our performance team. The riders can offer an opinion but they don’t select the team and never will,” he explained.

“We knew from last year that my job was to build a team around Chris Froome because he’s the rider most likely to win this year’s Tour de France. In building the team I have to take the group dynamic into consideration,” he said.

“Trust and harmony are important considerations and it’s a difficult decision. I’m not just talking about the harmony between Chris and Brad but harmony amongst all the riders and staff.

“People should be careful before thinking Chris is making decisions here. Chris is a great bike rider, he deserves to lead our team but ultimately he doesn’t pick the team. I do,” he added. 

In April, former Team Sky coach Shane Sutton said he was unsure whether Wiggins would make the Tour de France team in support of Froome.

"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," said Sutton, who is now technical director of British Cycling.

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."

In his response to those comments, Wiggins, who is close to Sutton, suggested that the man who last year succeeded him as Tour de France champion would have a big say in whether he would figure in the team.

He 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," added Wiggins, who has proved his form with a top ten finish at Paris-Roubaix and overall victory at the Tour of California.

Froome said last week that it would be a team decision as to whether Wiggins took part in the race, adding that if Sky needed a Plan B, he believed that Richie Porte would be the rider to fulfil that.

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.

46 comments

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anarchy [100 posts] 3 years ago
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Wiggo has to go to the tour

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anarchy [100 posts] 3 years ago
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Wiggo has to go to the tour

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Luminosity [76 posts] 3 years ago
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Sod Sky. Wiggins has to change teams.

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levermonkey [681 posts] 3 years ago
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Froome is the defending champion. If he is fit then the natural order is to support his campaign to defend his title. If that means that Wiggins has to be sacrificed for the team dynamic then so be it.

Wiggins chose not to defend his title. Wiggins fans need to take off the blinkers, accept reality and harden up. (Before the stupidity starts I'm not a rabid Froome standard-bearer either.)

Is your hostility based on the fact that he was not born in this country? If so I find that quite repellent.

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Duncan Farrell [13 posts] 3 years ago
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Hostility to froome dog is not in question here, the fact that Wiggo could be left out is! It would be a travesty for for the sport, Wiggo and all the fans that want to see their hero if he was out. He is still at least a top 10 finisher in the tour and a much better bet than porte. Sod all the crap, get him in!

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gdmor10 [86 posts] 3 years ago
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Has wiggins played a blinder by going on breakfast Telly? #pickwiggins

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madindehead [38 posts] 3 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

Wiggins chose not to defend his title.

Wiggins was injured and couldn't defend his title. He didn't choose to not defend it.

Still, I'm sure Brailsford will make the correct decision  1

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levermonkey [681 posts] 3 years ago
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Wiggins stated that his aims for 2013 were the Giro followed by supporting Froome's challenge for the Tour. That to me is deciding NOT to defend your title.

As to his 'injury' - I was then and still am suspicious of it. It has the ring of a 'political' injury particularly in light of non-payment of bonuses and the open animosity they feel for each other.

"Still, I'm sure Brailsford will make the correct decision" - madindehead. I wonder is you will feel it's the correct decision if it's not the one you want?

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chiv30 [987 posts] 3 years ago
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madindehead wrote:
levermonkey wrote:

Wiggins chose not to defend his title.

Wiggins was injured and couldn't defend his title. He didn't choose to not defend it.

Still, I'm sure Brailsford will make the correct decision  1

Haha if you believe that the do you still believe in Santa and the tooth fairy?

As I've said in every other thread DB hasn't named the squad and wiggo is doing his best yet again to not ride for froome only this year a bit more diplomatic than last.

Perhaps all you die hard wiggo fan boys will no realise what a prima donna he really is now that his boss has gone on record as saying the team isn't picked by froome nor finalised

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Charles_Hunter [149 posts] 3 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

Froome is the defending champion. If he is fit then the natural order is to support his campaign to defend his title. If that means that Wiggins has to be sacrificed for the team dynamic then so be it.

Wiggins chose not to defend his title. Wiggins fans need to take off the blinkers, accept reality and harden up. (Before the stupidity starts I'm not a rabid Froome standard-bearer either.)

Is your hostility based on the fact that he was not born in this country? If so I find that quite repellent.

I don't think Brad "chose not to defend his title" I think Sky chose for Froome to lead the Sky squad at the 2013 tour when Brad would have been defending his title, the reason why Brad wasn't even at the 2013 tour will probably have to wait until he's not at Sky and chooses to write about it.

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perfect1964 [29 posts] 3 years ago
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Dear oh dear,

Here we go ... cycling fan boys swinging hand bags over their preferred self obsessed Sky lackey.

I miss the days when British cyclists were small fry - didn't have the constant mindless chatter of that peculiarly British mob/fan mentality of taking sides and arguing the toss.

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fennesz [150 posts] 3 years ago
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Another day, anther Sky PR story. That's all this is: out & out PR to fill as many column inches with Team Sky stores.

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davidtcycle [76 posts] 3 years ago
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I seem to remember Froome and Wiggins raced together before, didn't do them any harm, might have done them some good.
Froome's just running scared and doesn't want any competition
Bit pathetic really Froome needs to man up and stop being a pussy.

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 3 years ago
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perfect1964 wrote:

Dear oh dear,

Here we go ... cycling fan boys swinging hand bags over their preferred self obsessed Sky lackey.

I miss the days when British cyclists were small fry - didn't have the constant mindless chatter of that peculiarly British mob/fan mentality of taking sides and arguing the toss.

I like it, the drama and speculation is a bit of fun.

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Him Up North [235 posts] 3 years ago
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Brailsford confirms the TdF team selection is his and his alone and that the decision hasn't been made. Later, Froome backs this up. Does this quell the clamour? Noooo.

I really don't understand how people can fail to realise Wiggins was clearly FUCKING with everybody during his media blitz on Friday. He presented nothing but supposition and it's been lapped up as fact. And it can't be misrepresentation because it happened first in L'Equipe, then on BBC Breakfast and also on BBC radio. It's a classic case of "light blue touchpaper and stand well back".

I said before on this website that I believed Wiggins deserves to be on the start line in Leeds. I still do on the basis of form and experience. But him trying to force the hand of his employers via the media has made me like him a little bit less. It smacks of desperation.

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JohnnyRemo [196 posts] 3 years ago
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Jeez - anyone that knows anything about cycling knows that 1986 ain't ever going to happen again...

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 3 years ago
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In unrelated news, Chris Froome's new autobiography The Climb is available in all good bookshops.

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Beefy [381 posts] 3 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

Froome is the defending champion. If he is fit then the natural order is to support his campaign to defend his title. If that means that Wiggins has to be sacrificed for the team dynamic then so be it.

Wiggins chose not to defend his title. Wiggins fans need to take off the blinkers, accept reality and harden up. (Before the stupidity starts I'm not a rabid Froome standard-bearer either.)

Is your hostility based on the fact that he was not born in this country? If so I find that quite repellent.

I think you need to get your facts right, I'm a big Wiggo fan but must point out his place of birth is Belgium. Though unlike Froome he does live in the UK with his family. To suggest I'm not a Froome fan because he was not born in The UK is a bit silly surely in that case I would not like Wiggo. I simply think Froome is boring and feel he was less than trust worthy when he was supposed to to support Wiggo in his tour win.

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Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
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Him Up North wrote:

Brailsford confirms the TdF team selection is his and his alone and that the decision hasn't been made. Later, Froome backs this up. Does this quell the clamour? Noooo.

I really don't understand how people can fail to realise Wiggins was clearly FUCKING with everybody during his media blitz on Friday. He presented nothing but supposition and it's been lapped up as fact. And it can't be misrepresentation because it happened first in L'Equipe, then on BBC Breakfast and also on BBC radio. It's a classic case of "light blue touchpaper and stand well back".

I said before on this website that I believed Wiggins deserves to be on the start line in Leeds. I still do on the basis of form and experience. But him trying to force the hand of his employers via the media has made me like him a little bit less. It smacks of desperation.

The decision has been made for some time. Brailsford has been playing for time and leaving the announcement until the last possible moment - 1 week before the Grand Depart - in order to minimise the period for all the 'you've left Wiggins out' furore ahead of the Tour.

Wiggins has pre-empted him. I personally have no problem with this. I think he's been played along by Brailsford all year, personally -

'if Brad's form's good enough'

So then Wiggins goes and slams it down at Tour of California

Then it became 'We'll have to see how he gets over jet-lag' (this, 7 weeks before Tour due to start)

Now it's become talk of team unity and cohesiveness and trust

Wiggins's been left out of the Tenerife training camps. He's not been up at altitude there all season. The writing was on the wall so plainly. Topped off by Froome's hatchet job in his book, and all the subsequent interviews ('mental weakness' etc). Not surprised Wiggins did those interviews.

Oh, and by the way, alongside Brailsford's exclusive quotes to his journo-of-choice, David Walsh, in the Sunday Times, was an accompanying piece by Walsh on all the history and circumstances that has lead up to Brailsford having made the choice to leave Wiggins out of the Tour team. Note: not why he MAY, but why he HAS made that choice.

Brailsford is just stalling for time, and trying to shield Froome because he's coming in for so much stick. Now a question: why is anyone buying Brailsford's shtick now?  39 Brailsford needs to MTFU, own the decision and handle the situation. It aint gonna be any better in 2-3 weeks time 'when he announces the team' and Wiggins isnt in it. Must as well deal with the thing now.

And Wiggins needs to get out of that team - its toxic.

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levermonkey [681 posts] 3 years ago
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Beefy wrote:

I think you need to get your facts right, I'm a big Wiggo fan but must point out his place of birth is Belgium. Though unlike Froome he does live in the UK with his family. To suggest I'm not a Froome fan because he was not born in The UK is a bit silly surely in that case I would not like Wiggo. I simply think Froome is boring and feel he was less than trust worthy when he was supposed to to support Wiggo in his tour win.

Wiggins was born in Ghent, Belgium in 1980 to an English mother and an Australian father. He left in 1982 and Bradley's mother moved to Kilburn.

Bradley Wiggins was a babe in arms in Belgium and has never held a passport in any nationality other than British. As Belgium is merely an accident of birth my argument still stands.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 3 years ago
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Team dynamic... I've never heard so much bullshit in my life, I've played team sports all my life and I've never played on a team where everybody gets on like best mates, in fact I've seen dislike drive and motivate people on far more then friendship, can you imagine Froome wanting Wiggo to beat him on a TT or a climb ? come on get real.

Bottom line, are the other 8 riders in the tour team that are better than Wiggo, in my view no, therefore Sky are not picking the best team and they are hypocrites, I hope Wiggo wins next week for even more embarrassment, they have lost me as a supporter.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 3 years ago
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good god Brailsford, make up bloody mind up!

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dafyddp [432 posts] 3 years ago
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gdmor10 wrote:

Has wiggins played a blinder by going on breakfast Telly? #pickwiggins

Or quite the opposite, perhaps? By going on breakfast TV he just re-enforces the view that he's a 'career cyclist' - way more interested in person advancement over the team's success. Like a lot of incredibly talented individuals, Wiggins needs to be at the centre of attention - surrounded by a team, not part of one. It's quite telling that his personal specialism is time-trialing - a discipline that doesn't rely on teamwork at all.

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Beaufort [270 posts] 3 years ago
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People arguing on here is senseless. Say your piece and leave.

Froome is the one who appears to have the issues in this case. BW has stated that he is happy to be a part of the team and support CF. To not want him in Le Tour is effectively calling him a liar. It also weakens his challenge.

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mooleur [537 posts] 3 years ago
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VOS FOR TDF WIN.

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bauchlebastart [120 posts] 3 years ago
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Him Up North wrote:

Brailsford confirms the TdF team selection is his and his alone and that the decision hasn't been made. Later, Froome backs this up. Does this quell the clamour? Noooo.

I really don't understand how people can fail to realise Wiggins was clearly FUCKING with everybody during his media blitz on Friday. He presented nothing but supposition and it's been lapped up as fact. And it can't be misrepresentation because it happened first in L'Equipe, then on BBC Breakfast and also on BBC radio. It's a classic case of "light blue touchpaper and stand well back".

I said before on this website that I believed Wiggins deserves to be on the start line in Leeds. I still do on the basis of form and experience. But him trying to force the hand of his employers via the media has made me like him a little bit less. It smacks of desperation.

Didn't Wiggins sign up with Simon Fullers agency recently? He seems to have picked up a few media tricks since then.

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kamoshika [217 posts] 3 years ago
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dafyddp wrote:

It's quite telling that his personal specialism is time-trialing - a discipline that doesn't rely on teamwork at all.

I seen to recall him being quite a handy team pursuiter too, although that doesn't fit with your argument so we'll ignore that

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andyp [1492 posts] 3 years ago
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' wiggo is doing his best yet again to not ride for froome only this year a bit more diplomatic than last'

Froome did his best not to ride for Wiggins in 2012 so I can see how that argument works both ways.

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DrJDog [412 posts] 3 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

Is your hostility based on the fact that he was not born in this country? If so I find that quite repellent.

Wiggins wasn't born in this country, either, so f**k off with your faux outrage.

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surly_by_name [524 posts] 3 years ago
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mooleur wrote:

VOS FOR TDF WIN.

Second this. I'd back her against plenty of the men as well.

Unrelated point (and nothing to do with Mooleur's post). Does anyone else cringe at the expression "Froome Dog"? Skinny, pale, hairless bloke with a slightly whiny voice who isn't especially articulate = a long way from down with the kids cool deserving of epithet that implies person to whom it is applied is ghetto.

Although I also find it slightly unnerving when people talk about "Bradley" (rather than Wiggins).

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