Sir Bradley Wiggins says he's unlikely to ride Tour de France again

Team Sky rider says he's finished with road racing as attention turns to the track and Rio 2016

by Simon_MacMichael   July 25, 2014  

Bradley Wiggins after winning Olympic ITT gold (copyright Britishcycling.org.uk)

Sir Bradley Wiggins, who in 2012 became the first British rider to win the Tour de France, has said that he is unlikely to take part in the race again and is finished with road racing as he turns his attention to aiming for Olympic gold in the team pursuit at Rio in two years’ time.

Wiggins was speaking after an England quartet that could very well be the Team GB line-up in 2016 was convincingly beaten in the team pursuit final by Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow yesterday evening.

It’s the fourth Commonwealth Games medal of the 34-year-old’s career, all of them silver, and he didn’t appear too thrilled with the latest addition to his collection, taking it off immediately after the presentation ceremony where he stood stony-faced on the podium alongside Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant.

Wiggins confirmed he was likely to miss the Vuelta, which he had planned to use as preparation for the world time trial championship in September, and would probably not ride the Tour de France again, which would make him the first post-war winner of the race never to compete in it again.

“I’ve kind of done the road now,” he said, quoted on Telegraph.co.uk. “I’ve bled it dry. The road is quite cut-throat. The track feels more like a family and a closer-knit group of people. That will probably be it for the Grand Tours. I can't imagine doing that now. I don't want to have to miss things on the track because of my commitments on the road.”

It’s unclear what that means for his future with Team Sky, where he is yet to sign a contract for 2015 and beyond. Earlier this week, Wiggins said that besides the Rio Olympics, his other big goal before he retires is to win Paris-Roubaix.

Referring to yesterday’s race, where England were behind from the start and faded badly late on despite Australia being reduced to three riders shortly after the halfway stage, Wiggins said: “I don’t want to sound like Roy Hodgson, but I can take some positives from this.

“Four weeks ago we sat in a room for the first time in six years, wondering how far we could ago. We have had limited preparation, and I hope we can look back at the Olympics in two years’ time with golds around our necks, thinking that Glasgow was the starting point. There is going to be a lot of graft to get ourselves in the right place for Rio.”

27 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

The guy is losing more and more respect each time he opens his mouth.

Leodis's picture

posted by Leodis [239 posts]
25th July 2014 - 12:02

70 Likes

The guy is gaining more and more respect each time he opens his mouth.

posted by andyp [1072 posts]
25th July 2014 - 12:03

96 Likes

I'm getting more and more confused as to what other people are reading in articles on Wiggins.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
25th July 2014 - 12:06

56 Likes

Wiggins quotes, on helmet use or any other topic, remind me that "it is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt of it."
His managers need to keep him away from microphones and give him a bit of media coaching.

posted by clayfit [35 posts]
25th July 2014 - 12:29

63 Likes

Love him because he speaks his mind and isn't media trained and doesn't give a toss.

Pain is just the French word for bread.

S13SFC's picture

posted by S13SFC [102 posts]
25th July 2014 - 12:46

69 Likes

Hell hath no fury like a Wiggins scorned.

There must be at least 14 thinly veiled digs at various people and events in that interview without explicitly saying he is really pissed off.
Give me a pissed off Wiggins any day of the week over a mocha lite Froome.

posted by Some Fella [820 posts]
25th July 2014 - 12:47

53 Likes

clayfit wrote:
Wiggins quotes, on helmet use or any other topic, remind me that "it is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt of it."
His managers need to keep him away from microphones and give him a bit of media coaching.

He's definitely no fool. He's an intelligent man who has a great palmares, is financially secure and expresses his feelings openly and honestly. Although some specific individuals may be upset by what he says, he's not offensive so why would he need media coaching? Or managers?

posted by Pauldmorgan [185 posts]
25th July 2014 - 13:05

63 Likes

S13SFC wrote:
Love him because he speaks his mind and isn't media trained and doesn't give a toss.

I think Bradley's PR management team, Simon Fuller's XIX, would be rather pleased to hear you're under that impression.

posted by Nick T [844 posts]
25th July 2014 - 13:08

52 Likes

6 weeks prep after 6 years apart - whatever happened to 'marginal gains'!?!?

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [222 posts]
25th July 2014 - 15:43

45 Likes

is he going to walk the road bits between the cobbled sections in PR?

posted by Metjas [312 posts]
25th July 2014 - 16:35

40 Likes

pastaman wrote:
6 weeks prep after 6 years apart - whatever happened to 'marginal gains'!?!?

That's the point - this is the start of a program of gains, some marginal, some not. What we can take from that is that they don't take the Commonwealth games all that seriously.

posted by step-hent [703 posts]
25th July 2014 - 16:49

40 Likes

He may not be impressed getting a silver medal but there are a hell of a lot of people who would be, so he has gone down in my estimation with his very quick removal of the medal.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2843 posts]
25th July 2014 - 17:12

59 Likes

The headline is incorrect.

Bradley said he is finished with Grand Tours, not road racing as such.

I think he does not have the motivation or desire to put himself through the training mill again for a big Tour. He has won the Tour de France, nothing more to prove or achieve.

I would like to see him tackle some road classics, Paris-Roubaix seems to be his favourite. Maybe even a crack at the World Champs Road race and/or time trial.

As for the track, he could do very well out of the track in the next year or so with Worlds, Olympic and Hour record goals.

Add to the mix the Tour of Yorkshire, Tour of California, Tour of Britain, and Bradley has lots of targets to aim for if he wishes.

He is clearly enjoying being back at home with family and just training locally down the road at the track in Manchester.

Peter Kennaugh is our next big Tour winner, I think he has what it takes to win on the road.

posted by seanbolton [145 posts]
25th July 2014 - 17:27

44 Likes

Maybe the organisers will let him just do the one and a half laps in Roubaix velodrome?

posted by ChairRDRF [167 posts]
25th July 2014 - 17:29

48 Likes

wonder what Stannard and Thomas are thinking of their chances/roles at next years's Paris Roubaix.

All good and well for Wiggins to concentrate on the track, be done with grand tours, but then demand top spot for PR. Time for Sky to start promoting young talent, e.g. by including Kennaugh in the TdF team.

posted by Metjas [312 posts]
25th July 2014 - 19:09

47 Likes

What ever he does he's knocking' on a bit now so realistically has only a few seasons left before he calls time on the riding part of his career. Maybe he can ride for a little longer on the track but GT road racing unlikely even the one day classics might be a struggle. If truth be told he wouldn't be able to beat Froome, Contador or Nibali on say the TdF or Vuelta unless they retired through injury or illness. He might have done well on the TdF this year especially with how it has turned out had Sky selected him, but they chose instead to dump on him. The Olympics are looking like they will be his swan song.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [485 posts]
25th July 2014 - 23:28

46 Likes

I've watched a few of the tv interviews and my take, for what it's worth, is that Brad is a man deeply hurt and dismayed by what has happened in the last two years.

As a Tour winner he should have been back. Pretty sure the 2013 "injury" was bogus - to save Sky's face or Brad's hangover - and this year he clearly anticipated that he would be, at least, part of the team.

There'll be yays and nays regarding whether he should have been there but I'll go with Greg Lemond's view that you take your nine best riders and see where that gets you. Clearly, Sky haven't done/couldn't do that. And for whatever reason, they are spectacularly off the pace when it really matters this year.

Even from a cynical, publicity POV, Wiggo should have been there this year. To my mind he - and David MIllar at Garmin for that matter - have been shabbily treated, all the more so because they've been shafted by people, I think, they would never have expected to do the dirty on them. Naive maybe, but pretty sure Brad never expected that the biggest "cnuts" he'd encounter post annus mirabilis were those closest to him. That is cruel and - at least to this outsider - massively unfair.

posted by philallan [14 posts]
26th July 2014 - 0:34

52 Likes

I didn't realise Brailsford and Sky owed Wiggins a ride at this years TdF. I thought it would have been Wiggins owing them a favour after they masterminded his greatest success even knowing they had a better rider on the team, and stood by him while he struggled to cope with the aftermath, paying his wage while he contributed sweet FA in 2013.

posted by Nick T [844 posts]
26th July 2014 - 6:38

27 Likes

Like the man said on Breakfast news; 'Brad drops little bombs and then runs away giggling'

He's having a laugh, don't take what he says as anything other than pure mischief.

posted by Beaufort [184 posts]
26th July 2014 - 6:50

22 Likes

Quote:
As a Tour winner he should have been back. Pretty sure the 2013 "injury" was bogus - to save Sky's face or Brad's hangover - and this year he clearly anticipated that he would be, at least, part of the team.

His form was all over the place first half of last year, and was in no shape for the TDF

Quote:
There'll be yays and nays regarding whether he should have been there but I'll go with Greg Lemond's view that you take your nine best riders and see where that gets you. Clearly, Sky haven't done/couldn't do that. And for whatever reason, they are spectacularly off the pace when it really matters this year.

I agree with 'le man' too. However there is a part of me which thinks - It was a given that Froome would lead the TDF team this year, for a very long time. If Brad really wanted to work with him in this years TDF, he could have picked up the phone and given Froome a call (possibly getting the number from Dave B first), and working this out 6 months ago....

posted by Must be Mad [125 posts]
26th July 2014 - 7:24

26 Likes

Exactly my interpretation sean

seanbolton wrote:
The headline is incorrect.

Bradley said he is finished with Grand Tours, not road racing as such.

I think he does not have the motivation or desire to put himself through the training mill again for a big Tour. He has won the Tour de France, nothing more to prove or achieve.

I would like to see him tackle some road classics, Paris-Roubaix seems to be his favourite. Maybe even a crack at the World Champs Road race and/or time trial.

As for the track, he could do very well out of the track in the next year or so with Worlds, Olympic and Hour record goals.

Add to the mix the Tour of Yorkshire, Tour of California, Tour of Britain, and Bradley has lots of targets to aim for if he wishes.

He is clearly enjoying being back at home with family and just training locally down the road at the track in Manchester.

Peter Kennaugh is our next big Tour winner, I think he has what it takes to win on the road.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [670 posts]
26th July 2014 - 7:51

29 Likes

In 2009, when he finished 4th in the TDF, Bradley said we would never see him on the track again.... he may be a very good bicycle rider, but he's obviously got his work cut out for him perfecting his psychic powers.

posted by leqin [130 posts]
26th July 2014 - 10:31

14 Likes

Brad has had a great year.

But track riding is like fish in a tank, its great, but real fish live in the sea

posted by SuperG [63 posts]
26th July 2014 - 10:42

18 Likes

Im not sure that the decision to 'drop the road' for the track is in his control. I wonder what his employers SKY ProCycling feel about that when clearly he has it in him to win the Eneco Tour, the Vuelta all prior the Worlds and lets be honest after the Tour, I guess SKY will be desperate for some type of Grand Tour success this season Worried

posted by Northenscum01 [1 posts]
26th July 2014 - 12:48

12 Likes

Northenscum01 wrote:
Im not sure that the decision to 'drop the road' for the track is in his control. I wonder what his employers SKY ProCycling feel about that when clearly he has it in him to win the Eneco Tour, the Vuelta all prior the Worlds and lets be honest after the Tour, I guess SKY will be desperate for some type of Grand Tour success this season Worried

He'll do what he wants, not like he needs the cash.
Plenty of other teams would be willing to take him on under his terms of riding track as well I imagine, let him pick his race calendar of track and road events.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [503 posts]
26th July 2014 - 14:28

10 Likes

Anyone know why Sir Brad is not competing in Commonwealth Games time trial? Surely he'd expect the gold?

posted by maultby [5 posts]
26th July 2014 - 20:26

6 Likes

I was thinking the same thing. If Brad wanted a gold so badly why not enter the event he had the best chance of winning. I can understand why he'd want to get track time to train for Rio but still the mind boggles.

posted by Leeroy_Silk [58 posts]
27th July 2014 - 0:16

4 Likes