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Team Sky builds Tour de France team around Chris Froome

Team England and British Cycling have today announced that Bradley Wiggins will join the track squad for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, July 23-August 3.

The news comes on the heels of Team Sky’s announcement of a Tour de France squad without Wiggins, making him available to ride for the national team in Glasgow.

Wiggins has said that he plans to focus on the track in the run up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where he hopes to add to his medal tally.

Shane Sutton said: “I’m very happy to be able to welcome Sir Bradley back to the track team for the Commonwealth Games - his addition will be a real morale boost to the rest of the track squad. The decision of who will ride what event will be made nearer the time.”

Earlier today Team Sky today announced its team for the Tour de France (July 5-27) and confirmed that as expected, Chris Froome will be the team’s candidate for the general classification, defending the title he won last year.

Froome will be supported by Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Nieve, Bernhard Eisel, Vasil Kiryienka, David López, Danny Pate and Xabier Zandio.

Wiggins has said several times this year that he would be happy to ride for Froome at the Tour, so his exclusion could be interpreted as a major snub. It’ll be interesting to see if he even rides for Team Sky again this season.

Sky’s team principal Dave Brailsford said: “Team Sky returns to the Tour de France with the reigning champion and we are looking to win the yellow jersey for the third time in three years and a second consecutive time for Chris Froome. Defending champion Chris Froome is an exceptional talent, a brilliant stage racer, and he’ll lead the team.

“We know how hard it is to win this race and that it takes a totally focused and carefully constructed team, with the right blend of riders, to give us the best chance of victory. Each rider has been selected to play a specific role which will involve total sacrifice and commitment to the team’s ambition of reaching the Champs Élysées in yellow.

“In tackling the difficult challenge of selecting this team, we have stuck to a performance-first philosophy which has bought us considerable success, firstly at British Cycling and then with Team Sky, for more than a decade. Given the number of talented riders in Team Sky this approach has inevitably lead to some very tough decisions – however it’s crucial to remain totally focused on the desired outcome and we’re racing to win.

“It has been a golden decade for cycling. Bradley Wiggins lies at the heart of a lot of that success, and although he has not been selected for this race he is still a key member of Team Sky and a great champion.

“The last time the Tour came to Britain it helped sow the seeds for what eventually became Team Sky. Everyone should be immensely proud of how far we’ve come and we can’t wait to ride in front of the UK fans. I believe that this will mark the moment when Britain truly becomes a cycling nation.”

Chris Froome said: “Everyone in the team is hugely excited about the Tour de France starting in the UK and racing in front of home fans as defending champion will be an incredible honour.

“We did a recce of the Yorkshire stages a few weeks ago and the excitement was already starting to build and the support that we have received has been fantastic. I’ll never forget the atmosphere on the roads during the London Olympics and to receive similar support at the Tour would be amazing. There’s no greater motivation for us than riding in front of our UK fans.

“We have a really strong team going into the race, full of experience and ability, and we’ve spent a lot of time together this year which is very important. We’re ready to get started and can’t wait to get to Yorkshire.”

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.

47 comments

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willjeffcott [8 posts] 2 years ago
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1 British rider in the supposedly British Team Sky for the biggest race of the year which also happens to start in Britain (Froome discounted as clearly the only way to could have ever turned pro is to race under a British license so teams like Sky would want him). Slightly annoying but I'll still be cheering on Team Sky and Adam Yates of Orica GreenEDGE.

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davkt [41 posts] 2 years ago
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It was a predictable call and hard to see it being done any other way given the management philosophy of Team Sky. As to who to support, will be great if I see Cav in yellow when I'm working on stage 2.

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peted76 [275 posts] 2 years ago
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We all fully expected this, so why am I still disappointed to read this official news ?

Seems a little more galling now Sir Brad has won the nationals !

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 2 years ago
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No Ben Swift in a race where Stage 2 finishes down the road from his home town  2

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Roberj4 [218 posts] 2 years ago
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Brad placed a rare picture on Instagram this morning eating a MacDonalds (!!) on his way home from winning yesterdays TT Nationals. Speaks volumes with the TDF just a week away (I'm not on the SKY Train so here's two fingers). Is it time for Brad to move on? If Richie Porte moves at the end of this year who have Sky left other than Froome as a GC contender for 2015/16? I'm not interested in Froome I'd rather see an open race with other teams attacking Sky which didn't happen last year (hey Movistar!)

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Nixster [305 posts] 2 years ago
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Surely Wiggins must leave Sky now?

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Roberj4 [218 posts] 2 years ago
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Wonder if there will be a vocal 'back lash' against Sky amongst roadside supporters?

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7thGalaxy [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Not sure what the poke at McDonalds is for! Usain Bolt famously loves McDonalds, in fact, he prepared for the 2012 100m final with a McDonalds wrap.

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usedtobefaster [172 posts] 2 years ago
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Well that's a shock, if you've been living on Mars !

Will this cause problems with the England TP squad for the Commonwealth games having a new rider dropped into a team that's been training together for months.

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pubcyclist [24 posts] 2 years ago
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Pleased Sir Wiggo will be riding for England, they must be over the moon to have him on-board. He's probably better doing that and being allowed to win than playing second to Froome anyway. Best of luck to them both, hope to see them head to head at the tour next year though.

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neildmoss [291 posts] 2 years ago
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You've only got to go to the McDonalds outside the Manchester velodrome after a World Cup series meet to see that a BigMac and milkshake must be the ultimate recovery meal.

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Leodis [403 posts] 2 years ago
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Sad news for UK cycling, we have a "British team" which only has a Welshman in it!! Still shocked Scott Thwaites was not included in Endura.

The worst news is we could have a convicted doper as winner of TdF in Contador.

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dp24 [201 posts] 2 years ago
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Leodis wrote:

Still shocked Scott Thwaites was not included in Endura.

As am I - disappointing they can't find space for a single British rider.

Then again, Sky aren't doing much better on that front.

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allezrider [92 posts] 2 years ago
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Clearly internal politics and not upsetting the leader (or his GF) rather than pure performance - can't see what some of the riders included bring over and above what Wiggo could have brought. Shame he's not there as he's been great at bringing cycling to the UK - who can forget The Sun's 'Wiggo Chops'  1 . Now going to have to explain to the plebs in the office why Wiggo isn't riding the Tour.

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AWPeleton [3325 posts] 2 years ago
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After his performance in the Tour de Suisse i'm not surprised (although he did crash, i'll give him that) but i think he was told prior to that race to be honest.

Still a cracking team and one that, on paper, looks strong enough to put Froome up there again.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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They put what they thought was the best team, like them/him or not but Sky/DB know far far more about team selections than anyone here.

Nationality doesn't mean you get a spot, coming from near a stage start/finish doesn't get you in and so on.
All that does it your performance and been able to ride 110% for your team leader, they didn't want to risk the internal balance, be it that BW was going to rock the boat, or CF wasn't wanting him.

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Beefy [376 posts] 2 years ago
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F**k team sky, like it or not leaving Brad out in favour of an apparent stedhead drug (kind of) cheet won't help the brand. I hope he is back at next years Tour and kicks Froome in to touch. I think sky's lack of loyalty and not having a British leader is sad

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stevebull-01 [63 posts] 2 years ago
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Wiggo would have made a useful domestique, so it's a shame he's not on the squad. I can't see him being a grand tour contender any more though, unless there's 5 stages of individual time trial.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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Beefy wrote:

F**k team sky, like it or not leaving Brad out in favour of an apparent stedhead drug (kind of) cheet won't help the brand. I hope he is back at next years Tour and kicks Froome in to touch. I think sky's lack of loyalty and not having a British leader is sad

Really don't get where this nations thing in cycling came from, it wasn't around 3 years back. Yet it becomes popular in the UK and it's all about British.

OPQS (Belgian) have Mark Cavendish(UK) as their leader, I imagine the Belgians aren't kicking up a fuss.
Cannondale Pro Cycling(Italian) have Peter Sagan(Slovak) as their leader, I imagine the Italians aren't kicking up a fuss.

Cycling is a sport where nationalities matter very very little apart from one race of the year. The sooner newer cycling fans realise this, the better.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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stevebull-01 wrote:

Wiggo would have made a useful domestique, so it's a shame he's not on the squad. I can't see him being a grand tour contender any more though, unless there's 5 stages of individual time trial.

He might do for someone he gets on with, like when he rode for Cav on the CE in 2012, but not for Froome.

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stevebull-01 [63 posts] 2 years ago
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glynr36 wrote:
stevebull-01 wrote:

Wiggo would have made a useful domestique, so it's a shame he's not on the squad. I can't see him being a grand tour contender any more though, unless there's 5 stages of individual time trial.

He might do for someone he gets on with, like when he rode for Cav on the CE in 2012, but not for Froome.

Agreed

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Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
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1) How long will brailsford last if he leaves out Brad and Froome doesn't win?
2) what if Brad decides to race for Aus at the Commies....to stick it to the man!
3) What if Brad only wanted to the tour if he was given a stab at GC if strong enough.

All this,band more in this weeks episode of SOAP.

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ratattat [52 posts] 2 years ago
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Grand tours are 4 weeks of being with the same 9 people day in day out .If there is simmering bad feeling to begin with it will make the day to day running of the squad extremely difficult . Dave Brailsford had a difficult decision to make and I think he made the correct call. Bradley Wiggins is and will always be a hero, the 1st British winner of the greatest bike race ever but the future is Froome and as team leader and GC rider he must have an input into his team set-up , the riders he trusts, the riders he trained with in Tenerife (Brad was in mallorca) and the best riders available . It is possible Froome can win several more tours and he is dedicated to the road unlike Wiggins. I personally dont think SKY will have it all their own way in this years tour as Contador and the SaxoBank team are looking very strong . I think we will see exactly what Froome,Porte,Geraint Thomas, Mikel Nieve, Bernhard Eisel, Vasil Kiryienka, David López, Danny Pate and Xabier Zandio are all made of against Alberto Contador ,Rogers, Roche, Kreuziger and company. Contador looked ominously strong in the criterium de dauphine

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ratattat [52 posts] 2 years ago
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Hope not !! we are cycling supporters not football hooligans. Lets just enjoy the days in Yorkshire and respect the massive task the riders have to endure

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ratattat [52 posts] 2 years ago
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Roberj4 wrote:

Wonder if there will be a vocal 'back lash' against Sky amongst roadside supporters?

Hope not !! we are cycling supporters not football hooligans. Lets just enjoy the days in Yorkshire and respect the massive task the riders have to endure

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Grizzerly [298 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh come on folks, Wiggo ruled himself out weeks ago. He made it clear that he wasn't going to ride the tour well before Sky had started their selection process.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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As a close confidant of Brad and someone who's wisdom he often calls on i would advise him to ditch Sky as soon as he can.
They are funded by a despicable human being and his son (who is possibly going to face charges over the hacking thing) and many other teams have got wise to Sky's racing tactics and Brailsford et al can only make so many marginal gains before pure talent (of which there is lots coming through in other teams) will prevail.
We are at the point where Sky can no longer dominate and their brief moment in the sun is coming to an end.
Bradley is still a world class bike rider and he deserves better.

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markdkeeley [5 posts] 2 years ago
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'Sir' Brad only won the TdF on team orders and has only ever done what suits. Ridiculous sentiment going on here.

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ratattat [52 posts] 2 years ago
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Some Fella wrote:

As a close confidant of Brad and someone who's wisdom he often calls on i would advise him to ditch Sky as soon as he can.
They are funded by a despicable human being and his son (who is possibly going to face charges over the hacking thing) and many other teams have got wise to Sky's racing tactics and Brailsford et al can only make so many marginal gains before pure talent (of which there is lots coming through in other teams) will prevail.
We are at the point where Sky can no longer dominate and their brief moment in the sun is coming to an end.
Bradley is still a world class bike rider and he deserves better.

Don't see why you bring Skys' owners into this , it has no bearing on the team. Do you not have sky sports , watch sky news or read papers etc ect lol... I'm sure saxo bank is run by delightful chaps lol

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bd73 [1 post] 2 years ago
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All these comments about nationality are rubbish, Froome is as British as Wiggins, both were born outside UK, but have British families. Wiggins is just more British in his jack the lad ways. Cycling is not like Football in terms of only playing for your national country.

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