Sir Bradley Wiggins has played down talk of rivalry between him and Sky team-mate Chris Froome. The two Tour de France winners have both been selected to ride for Britain at the world championships, and Wiggins says he will ride for Froome if that’s the job he is asked to do.
Talking to Sky News, Wiggins said: “Chris made his intentions clear after the Tour that he wants to try and win the world road race. I put my hand up to be part of that team and to try and assist him. I was selected last week for that.”
This year’s world championships road race course is considered to suit Froome’s climbing prowess, but he will still need a strong team behind him.
“Cycling is a team sport and the opportunity to ride for your country in good form - I was at the World Championships last year with no form and it's not a nice place to be. I always relish the opportunity to be able to ride the world’s for Great Britain, whoever the leader is and do a job that's asked of me.
“One of my best sporting memories is from two years ago assisting Cav When he won the worlds. So if that's the case and Chris manages to win it and I can play a part in it then that's a very satisfying thing.
“A lot has been said since I came out the Tour and stuff, putting weight on and all this stuff you see, going for the hour record - people make this stuff up. At this stage I'm just focused on this week. I'll get to the end of the season, have a holiday and then decide about my future.
“Whatever I'm asked to do and whatever I'm told to do I'll do at the end of the day."
Froome raced in Canada over the weekend, while Wiggins is currently taking part in the Tour of Britain, a race he has said is an important part of his preparation for a crack at the time trial at the world’s.
Asked if he and Froome had talked about their differences, Wiggins pointed out that they hadn’t raced together since the Tour of Oman in February.
However, Wiggins dismissed the significance of their rivalry.
“It’s not for me to decide [if he and Froome need to talk],” he said.
“At the end of the day it's just sport, it's about going out there and doing a job professionally. It's as simple as that.
"Whether people get on or they don't get on in walks of life it shouldn't stop you going out and doing the job you do."
Wiggins implied that his rivalry with Froome had perhaps been beaten-up a bit by the media.
He said: “Sometimes whatever has happened has happened and too much is made of it, but that’s just sport. Everyone needs a bit of a story.”
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.