New book says Sir Bradley Wiggins withheld Chris Froome's share of 2012 Tour de France prize money

Inside Team Sky author David Walsh says Wiggins coughed up 14 months later - on Brailsford's orders

by Simon_MacMichael   November 22, 2013  

Wiggins and Froome (pic Bettini Photo, courtesy Pinarello)

A new book claims that Sir Bradley Wiggins snubbed Team Sky colleague Chris Froome after winning last year’s Tour de France – by splitting his prize money with all his other team-mates, excluding the man who would this year succeed him to the yellow jersey.

In his book, Inside Team Sky, Sunday Times chief sports writer David Walsh says that Wiggins eventually paid Froome the money during the week of this year’s World Championships in Florence – 14 months after the race finished, and on the insistence of team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford.

Besides the €450,000 for winning the General Classification, Wiggins would also have earned money for stage placings, including €8,000 for each of the two time trials he won – and for days spent in the yellow jersey.

Froome finished runner-up to Wiggins in the race – which would have netted him €200,000 – but Tour de France tradition dictates that overall winner shares his prize money with all the riders who help him win.

Tensions ran high between Wiggins and Froome in the second half of the race after the latter appeared to attack his team leader on Stage 11 to La Toussuire-Les-Sybelles, slowing down to wait for him only on the orders of sports director, Sean Yates.

The incident sparked a row on Twitter between Wiggins’ wife Cath, and Froome’s now fiancée, Michelle Cound.

There was another exchange towards the end of the final mountain stage of the race that suggested all was not well in the Sky camp, with Froome gesticulating at the Tour’s winner-in-waiting.

Walsh’s book is already on sale through Amazon, including for Kindle devices and apps, and should hit bookstores this weekend.

He confirmed on Twitter today that the episode regarding Wiggins, Froome and the payment of the bonus is included within the book.

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Probably Wiggo being practical rather than difficult. How many domestiques come second and earn €200k? That's not really what the tradition was designed for is it?

posted by Speedy Gilby [6 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 23:19

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Fair is fair. Froome did a lot of work for Wiggins and was obviously stronger in the mountains.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

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posted by jmaccelari [91 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 23:23

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Tradition is tradition and I'm not surprised brad did this tbh ....he has been seen to be a prima donna on a number of occasions

posted by chiv30 [595 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 23:24

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Surely the fair thing would be for all the team prize money to be added together and then divided equally.

Theres no mention in the story of what happened to Froome's prize money. If he divided it between everyone in the team then he deserves his share of Wiggins winnings. If not it seems a bit weird for the 2nd place rider to walk away with 200 000 euro more than the winner.

posted by SpooksTheHorse [26 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 0:15

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Just to clarify in my own mind:

Froome wins €200k and keeps it all?
Wiggins wins €450k + but has to divvy it up?

posted by Some Fella [619 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 0:15

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SpooksTheHorse wrote:
Surely the fair thing would be for all the team prize money to be added together and then divided equally.

Theres no mention in the story of what happened to Froome's prize money. If he divided it between everyone in the team then he deserves his share of Wiggins winnings. If not it seems a bit weird for the 2nd place rider to walk away with 200 000 euro more than the winner.

Yep. Got to call BS on this. I thought that the whole of the team's prize money was pooled and then split equally; that would seem to be the only fair way and also provide a great incentive for everyone.

posted by pwake [238 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 5:53

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Historically the winner always pays his teammates for their hard work during the TdF. Acting like a wanker towards you teammates gains you little respect.

Michael R. Smith

posted by American tifosi [36 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 7:02

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You're a team, surely the winnings of all riders is split? That said, Brad is a self-confessed man who knows the history of the sport. I'm sure this tradition didn't slip his mind.

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posted by sm [329 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 9:58

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I call foul... The team will be paid winnings which will then be divided between the riders. I can't see a situation where Wiggins could hold the cash back.
I'm guessing the only situation where the team might take such action is where, as mentioned, Froome refused to share his part of the team winnings and accordingly he was not included in the team pay out.
I like the way Wiggins is always portrayed as the cnut in these situations... Whilst I don't doubt there is some pre madonna action going on, my hunch is that it's not the man with the sideburns driving that.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [99 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 10:41

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This is a tradition that came about because the team would typically beast themselves to get the leader into yellow but individually come away with little or nothing. It is almost unprecedented for another team member to come away with as much prize money as that given to Froome. I'm with Wiggins on this as he's rewarding those who otherwise wouldn't have financially benefited. The points above are valid about Froome splitting his prize money, too. And the relationship between the two may still have been a factor.

posted by exellp [1 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 10:55

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Its not really the way to solve the problem to pay him nothing for 14 months! I'm sure the with spin-off's etc Wiggins has been well compensated.

Wiggins is a great rider, but not a patch on Froome to watch.

posted by SuperG [44 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 12:23

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If I owe money to someone I pay them as quickly as possible, and it annoys me when that sentiment isn't returned.

What was the benefit of Wiggins holding back the money he owed Froome (remembering he paid everyone else, apparently) - for over 1 year - other than making himself look like a bit of a vindictive a**hole?

Hero to Zero

posted by caaad10 [91 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 12:38

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I agree with others. There's probably a whole lot more to this story.

I remember in Tyler Hamilton's book where Armstrong basically forced him to accept a reduced share if his Tour bonus so it seems that the money is paid to the winner and then distributed, rather than put in the team coffers and shared.

But the point about Froome's share seems interesting. I agree with the sentiments of others here, that if the winner has to divvy up then it is the same with those of other riders. In fact I thought it was de facto that all winnings were sliced up (you often here the commentators talking about how teams have slim pickings and that a win will greatly improve things for the team).

I should think (without reading the book - don't we have a resident book worm on the case?) that Froome did his part and expected Brad to do his and didn't....otherwise it is a particularly nasty way of retelling the event which makes Brad look like a shit which would otherwise make Froome look like one.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [977 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 12:45

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Suspect there's more to this than the headline suggests – or else Michelle Cound would have Tweeted about it.

But it doesn't stop people jumping to conclusions.

posted by JonSP [46 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 12:46

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Nothing makes sense until the divi on who got what is declared, a realistic view on fairness can then be made, but then again that depends on where they happen to be in the pecking order.

antonio

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posted by antonio [899 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 13:31

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David Walsh innit... Never let the complete facts get in the way of something sensational.

Yeah, hats off to the guy for going at Armstrong like he did, but honestly, I can't see why he has to go around trying to make out that certain folk are cheats and arses all the time.

Maybe focus on something more positive for once.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [99 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 17:12

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Gents, regardless of what tradition dictates team sky have rules which are as follows

TEAM SKY’S RULES

We will respect one another and watch each other’s backs
We will be honest with one another
We will respect team equipment
We will be on time
We will communicate openly and regularly
If we want our helmets cleaned we will leave them on the bus
We will pool all prize money from races and distribute at the end of the year
Any team bonuses from the team will be split between riders on that race
We will give 15% of all race bonuses and prize money to staff
We will speak English if we are in a group
We will debrief after every race
We will always wear team kit and apparel as instructed in the team dress code
We will not use our phones at dinner – if absolutely required we will leave the table to have the conversation
We will respect the bus
We will respect personnel and management
We will ask for any changes to be made to the bikes (gearing, wheel selection etc) the night before the race and not on race day
We will follow the RULES

They are fairly well documented... But by the sound of it not everyone follows

posted by doc_davo [16 posts]
24th November 2013 - 0:57

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doc_davo beat me to it, so here's those rules as posted on the Team Sky "Death Star"

Okay, that's a bit small. Click here for a large one. http://cdn4.coresites.mpora.com/rcuk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/11-IMG_5...

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posted by Him Up North [43 posts]
24th November 2013 - 1:30

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
David Walsh innit... Never let the complete facts get in the way of something sensational.

Yeah, hats off to the guy for going at Armstrong like he did, but honestly, I can't see why he has to go around trying to make out that certain folk are cheats and arses all the time.

Maybe focus on something more positive for once.

Well its because there are/have been a lot of "cheats and arses" D'oh!

posted by festival [94 posts]
24th November 2013 - 1:49

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!

posted by festival [94 posts]
24th November 2013 - 1:51

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
pre madonna

Not to be a dick, but this made me lol!

posted by eurotrash [69 posts]
24th November 2013 - 16:50

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jmaccelari wrote:
Fair is fair. Froome did _____ work for Wiggins and was obviously stronger in the mountains.

You missed out the 'all' I think Smile

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posted by William Black [196 posts]
24th November 2013 - 18:24

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eurotrash wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
pre madonna

Not to be a dick, but this made me lol!

Made me laugh too, and the first person that popped into my head was Dusty Springfield Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7486 posts]
24th November 2013 - 20:09

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Yeah, hats off to the guy for going at Armstrong like he did, but honestly, I can't see why he has to go around trying to make out that certain folk are cheats and arses all the time.

Might be something to do with the fact that the vast majority of people he's pointed the finger at have turned out to be just that?

In any case, this is a single extract from a 350+ page book, so your criticism seems a little unfair unless you've already read the whole thing. Kimmage has been far more negative towards Sky Procycling than Walsh.

posted by dp24 [89 posts]
25th November 2013 - 0:14

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eurotrash wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
pre madonna

Not to be a dick, but this made me lol!

I used the phrase "prima donna" in a comment on a Guardian football article a little while ago. Someone replied specifically to tell me it was "pre-madonna". I despair.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [642 posts]
25th November 2013 - 9:47

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Gizmo_ wrote:
eurotrash wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
pre madonna

Not to be a dick, but this made me lol!

I used the phrase "prima donna" in a comment on a Guardian football article a little while ago. Someone replied specifically to tell me it was "pre-madonna". I despair.

Definitely prima Donna chief, ignore or correct anyone who tells you otherwise.

I think it originates from Italy and opera meaning 'first lady'
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prima_donna

It has over time become the slang we use it has like many things.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=prima%20donna

posted by NormanStanley [8 posts]
25th November 2013 - 12:09

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"Just to clarify in my own mind:

Froome wins €200k and keeps it all?
Wiggins wins €450k + but has to divvy it up?"

Yes, this has always been the case. Or at least for a very long time dating back to when little money was involved because no one man can win the tour and needs the help of his team going back for bottles etc etc etc.

Whilst this is arguably less applicable in this day and age the winner, not his team mates also gets guaranteed income from other sources. One of these is always being paid to attend small races in the month or two after the event, that he will be allowed to do well in and maybe allowed to win because it makes them a bigger, better event. Having the TdF winner at a small cycle race in France is of course a huge thing. This is another tradition and another reason why the money gets shared out. This tradition lives on as does the winner getting more trappings generally; witness Froome being given a new F type coupe this year. So Wiggo got this race income and other trappings too.

Today this includes advertising contracts. Wiggo was modelling for FredPerry after his win. He became far more well known than Froome or any other rider at the time and brands trade on this. Froome no doubt got these advantages too, after his win this year.

Though am only now remembering that Froome was second in '12 of course but will leave the above as it explains where Sky maybe coming from.

posted by NormanStanley [8 posts]
25th November 2013 - 12:18

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I wonder why David Walsh would want to paint Wiggins as a bad guy and Chris Froome as the plucky lovable under dog?

Oh what's that David? You are going to be co-authoring Chris Froome's up coming biography? Well, isn't that a shock announcement.....

http://www.chris-froome.com/news/65-news-upcoming-autobiography

I'm just surprised David Walsh didn't blame Irish cycling fans for stealing the money.

posted by farrell [1015 posts]
25th November 2013 - 12:33

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eurotrash wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
pre madonna

Not to be a dick, but this made me lol!

Me too. I was wracking my brains to figure out who would be the pre Madonna he meant. Maybe Debbie Harry?

Thinking

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [932 posts]
26th November 2013 - 16:48

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As a Maillot Jaune your future prosperity (and place in history) was essentially guaranteed with the high profile sponsorship deals that would follow as well as the not inconsiderable salary a TdF winner can command. The "tradition" came about to motivate/reward/thank all the team riders who sacrificed themselves for the cause of one.

Froome came second but no one was there to help him in that quest, what he did he did under his own efforts and he would have been required to give it up in an instant to protect the race leader so I don't get this "he should throw his winnings in the pot" suggestion. Whilst you can argue he 'dragged his cleats' in support of Wiggins he still did it and easy to make the case that without Froome Wiggins would have been in trouble on some of those climbs so he owes him big time.

Froome clearly was the stronger rider at the 2011 Vuelta and sacrificed himself for Wiggins, folly by SKY who continue to demonstrate tactical naivety and inflexibility, and had he not lost time behind a crash at the 2012 Tour he would certainly have pressured Wiggins who, let us not forget, threatened to walk off the race. That and these subsequent actions, if true, do not reflect well on him.

posted by RTB [47 posts]
26th November 2013 - 22:50

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