Home
More details emerge regarding non-payment of TDF bonus - Froome's fiancée says it was the principle, not the money...

Further details have emerged of the non-payment of prize money for winning the 2012 Tour de France to his Team Sky colleague – and many would say rival – as well as runner-up in that race, Chris Froome. It also transpires that team principal Sir Dave Brailsford considered threatening to dock Wiggins several months’ wages if he ignored team orders to support Froome in last July’s Tour; Wiggins missed that race, with Froome succeeding him as champion.

The story of the non-payment of money to Froome was broken in David Walsh’s book, Inside Team Sky, published last week. According to The Times, the money in question isn’t the €450,000 for first place on GC paid to Team Sky for Wiggins’ victory – that goes into a central pot, and Froome got his share of that – but a £1 million bonus from the team itself.

The newspaper says that Froome learnt from his team mate – not to mention close friend, training partner and fellow Monaco resident, Richie Porte – that he had received money from Wiggins.

But Froome had not, nor unlike the other members of the team had he received the traditional gift of a yellow jersey from the Tour winner or an invitation to Wiggins’ Yellow Ball charity fundraiser in October last year.

During the 2012 Tour, rumours that all was not well between the two Sky riders who had got onto the podium during the previous year’s Vuelta were fuelled by two incidents in particular.

The first came when Froome seemed to attack race leader on Stage 11 to La Toussuire-Les-Sybelles, slowing down only on the orders of sports director, Sean Yates.
That incident gave rise to a tetchy exchange on Twitter between Wiggins’ wife Cath, and Froome’s now fiancée, Michelle Cound.

That was followed by another apparently angry exchange between the two men on the final mountain stage, when Froome could be seen gesticulating at Wiggins.

Referring to the bonus, Cound, who also looks after Froome’s business interests, said: “People don’t necessarily tell each other what bonus they have got. So we didn’t know for sure what the situation was.

“We didn’t know what the other riders got,” Cound said. “But Brad paid Chris nothing.”

On the subject of Walsh’s book, she said: “I don’t believe Brad ever intended to pay Chris the bonus. I think the reason he did is because he knew it was coming out in the book.

Cound added that it was more about the principle than the money, saying: “Brad paying Chris really doesn’t mean that much. It’s about a lot more than the sum of money.”

Wiggins made noises earlier this year about wanting to defend his Tour de France title, even though Brailsford had made it clear that Froome would be Sky’s protected rider, with the course more suited to him.

An injury picked up after Wiggins Giro d’Italia campaign, where he left the race halfway through, saw Sky announce he wouldn’t be selected for the Tour nearly a month before it began on Corsica.

In Walsh’s book, Brailsford outlined his belief that Froome and Wiggins can put professionalism above personal differences, but also revealed that he was prepared to take drastic measures to ensure the pair’s simmering row would not affect the team.

He planned to bring both men together and ask Wiggins – twice – to confirm he would ride for Froome, on the assumption the answer would be in the affirmative.

“Then I would say, ‘OK, if you don’t follow team orders we will agree to fine you three or four months’ wages’,” explained Brailsford.

He added: “This will be a significant amount of money, maybe as much as a few hundred thousand, and I believed it would concentrate Brad’s mind. I was then going to turn to Chris and say: ‘Right, Chris, if Brad goes against team orders, I’m going to give you that money.’ ”

Brailsford added that the proposal was based more on ensuring “goal harmony” – Froome’s victory – rather than “team harmony.”

However, he has insisted that the question of the non-payment of the bonus wasn’t an issue for the team, saying:

“That was a matter for Bradley and Chris and it is now sorted.”

But he did play a role in its resolution.

September’s World Championships in Tuscany saw both men selected for the British squad, with Froome spearheading what would prove to be a lackluster challenge in the rain, and ahead of that race as Cound explained, “Brailsford decided it would be better to sort it all out.”

A week before the race, Wiggins transferred the money to Froome, but Cound said that clear-the-air talks between the pair did not take place: “Chris was supposed to sit down with Brad before the worlds and it just never happened.”

Sky’s preparation for a 2014 season that will see the Tour de France begin on home soil in Yorkshire commence shortly with a training camp on Mallorca, and early season races will give Brailsford and his management team a chance to gauge the respective riders’ form.

The Yorkshire Grand Départ, and the fact the last two winners of the race are both British and ride for a British team means that media attention will be intense in the months leading up to the race, and the relationship between them will be come under particular scrutiny.

The Wiggins and Froome soap opera is unlikely to have run its course just yet.

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.

39 comments

Avatar
arrieredupeleton [575 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Oh well. Actions speak louder than words. At least Brad buried himself for Froome at the Worlds.....  7

Avatar
William Black [193 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Wiggins - He can sure time trail but what an utter cockend.

New found respect for Brailsford though.

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde [1695 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I can't say I understand why Sky paid the bonus to Brad to pay the team? Or do I misunderstand. It seems like they should split it between the riders, and not make it at the discretion of the riders. Weird. Will have to read the book, and then again you're only getting half the story.

Avatar
Sadly Biggins [269 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Unless there's some other detail we haven't seen, presumably Sky would just pay the bonus to the recipient (as the person at least notionally entitled to it) as a matter of course in the expectation that the recipient would share it out in time-honoured fashion. Either no-one previously did anything different or, if they did, it was sorted out away from the glare of publicity. Either way, this doesn't reflect particularly well on Wiggins if this is the whole story. Sky might well rethink the bonus policy now as well.

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

So last week it was claimed the GC winnings from the Tour weren't divvied out, but it now appears that those monies were paid direct to the team.

However, we now have a new claim from Michelle Cound via David Walsh that Brad didn't pay Froome a bonus out of his own personal bonus from his team.

I wonder just what Michelle Cound, business adviser and fianceé of Chris Froome and David Walsh, future ghostwriter of Chris Froome's biography, would have to gain from painting Wiggins in a bad light?

Avatar
southseabythesea [148 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

“Then I would say, ‘OK, if you don’t follow team orders we will agree to fine you three or four months’ wages’,” explained Brailsford...

So, does that mean Froome didn't get his bonus from Wiggins because he didn't like following team orders in the 2012 TdF. Or at least made a point he wasn't happy following team orders? Because to me, if I were in Wiggin's position, I wouldn't be tripping over myself to pay Froome a bonus.

They're all bloody primo!

Avatar
Metjas [362 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Professional conduct by Wiggo? I think not.

Super domestique for Froome in 2014 TdF? Hard to imagine.

Guaranteed place on track squad for Rio 2016? Nope.

Time for some reflection.

Avatar
Legin [95 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:

So last week it was claimed the GC winnings from the Tour weren't divvied out, but it now appears that those monies were paid direct to the team.

However, we now have a new claim from Michelle Cound via David Walsh that Brad didn't pay Froome a bonus out of his own personal bonus from his team.

I wonder just what Michelle Cound, business adviser and fianceé of Chris Froome and David Walsh, future ghostwriter of Chris Froome's biography, would have to gain from painting Wiggins in a bad light?

I doubt that Wiggins is too worried about what they say; his legacy is sealed any future achievements are a bonus. As for Froome he clearly has the talent and opportunity to establish himself amongst the elite of grand tour winners. Everything else around them is just noise!

Avatar
Edgeley [325 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Legin][quote=farrell wrote:

Everything else around them is just noise!

No it isn't just noise. It is also a large amount of money. These multi-millionaires only have a few years to earn their large amounts. It could all end in one crash or loss of form. Unlike say Chris Boardman, I don't think either of these two is likely to be able to forge a post-racing career.

Avatar
Leodis [403 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

So Froome who came 2nd received more money than Brad for winning... No wonder he didnt pay him, the cheek and disrespect of Froome and his greedy bint.

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Edgeley wrote:

I don't think either of these two is likely to be able to forge a post-racing career.

I reckon Froome could get some work as a Skeletor lookalike.

Avatar
AWPeleton [3282 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:

So last week it was claimed the GC winnings from the Tour weren't divvied out, but it now appears that those monies were paid direct to the team.

However, we now have a new claim from Michelle Cound via David Walsh that Brad didn't pay Froome a bonus out of his own personal bonus from his team.

I wonder just what Michelle Cound, business adviser and fianceé of Chris Froome and David Walsh, future ghostwriter of Chris Froome's biography, would have to gain from painting Wiggins in a bad light?

Interesting point - yet again Cound tries to get her pound of flesh, she should keep out of it.

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde [1695 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Leodis wrote:

So Froome who came 2nd received more money than Brad for winning... No wonder he didnt pay him, the cheek and disrespect of Froome and his greedy bint.

Where, oh where, do you get this from? All that we are told is that Brad didn't pay Froome his part of the bonus, but they haven't indicated how much each rider received. I doubt that Brad ended up worse than Froome once all the bonuses were paid out. It's just a matter of Brad paying Froome his dues, and it doesn't look like he did that.

Avatar
Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

There is only one person who is coming out of this looking good and i am thinking of getting some t-shirts printed with 'Goal Harmony' in his honour.

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [460 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I personally feel a bit sorry for Wiggins.

Imagine, you have just won the worlds biggest race, becoming the first brit to ever do so, on a british team... then, less than a year later, your team effectively dump you in favour of the young upstart that was the only one not to get fully behind your victory bid.

That must sting.

I can also imagine the pain of having Brailsford tell you that your wages are on the block if you don't support the guy who flicked you in exactly the same race the previous year.

I am amused at how easily people accept that Wiggins is a sh1t, and that Froome is a hero in this.

As mentioned, there are two sides to every story and we are getting to hear just one. I don't know which of these two is the arrrrse, so Im not willing to judge either just yet.

As touched on previously however, I can't help feel that the phrase 'nice people don't win' is probably apt, and there is one clear winner here.

Avatar
Cooks [490 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Didn't get behind? He dragged Brad over every col...

He earned his bonus, and was told he'd be given his shot the year after. Then BW didn't pay him, and came out with the fact that he wanted another shot and wouldn't support Froome.

BW secured his legacy, thanks in no small part to Froome.

Avatar
pmr [197 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

There's a personality clash between the two - its as simple as that. They do have very different upbringings and are totally different characters.
I believe that Froome thought he has the go ahead to attack on the stage when he got pulled back, and at the end of the day he did an insane amount of work for Brad to win the tour. He always said at the time it was a team sport and he would obey team orders.
I think Froome probably felt denied at least a couple of stage victories in 2012, and that he was owed a little more rope from the team than he got. After all we'd never seen a Tdf like that before where one team just dropped the whole peleton mountain after mountain.
As for Wiggins I think he was pissed that Froome had apparently pissed on his parade and maybe a little peeved that Froome had made it extremely obvious that he(wiggins) was inferior to a domestique in the mountains.

Gotta see it from both sides, personally I think Brailsford as great
as he is, doesn't posses the greatest people skills if he thinks he'll get these two working well together.

Avatar
dp24 [201 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

the young upstart that was the only one not to get fully behind your victory bid.

Give over.

Avatar
Simon E [2653 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Storm in a teacup IMHO.

A bit of a personality clash that has been fed to the news outlets in order to boost sales of Walsh's book on Sky and Froome's biography (Part I of ?).

Zzzzzzz...

Avatar
keirik [47 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

wish that bloody cound woman would just shut the f*** up - no one is interested in her bad mouthing

in the long run everyone will remember BW as the first brit to win the TdF, froome is barely on the radar of normal everyday people and if she keeps this up he never will be

Avatar
pondlife [15 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:

Storm in a teacup IMHO.

A bit of a personality clash that has been fed to the news outlets in order to boost sales of Walsh's book on Sky and Froome's biography (Part I of ?).

Zzzzzzz...

and just before christmas  39

Avatar
seanieh66 [196 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
arrieredupeleton wrote:

Oh well. Actions speak louder than words. At least Brad buried himself for Froome at the Worlds.....  7

 21 21 21

Well said

Avatar
OldnSlo [135 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

+2 Sir Dave
-1 Sir wiggo
+1 vava froome

Avatar
graham_f [185 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

From this article (and has several people have noted, we've only heard one side of the story) it sounds like Wiggo did share his TdF prize money as tradition dictates, and the money in question was paid direct to him as a bonus by Sky. Now either that was his to do with as he pleased (and OK, sharing it with everyone except Froome does make him appear a bit of an arse, but that was his decision to make and it would be interesting to hear his reasons for that) or it was given to him in the expectation that he would share it with the rest of the team. If the latter then, OK, that's what he should have done, but Dave B and the Team Sky management could have avoided the whole issue by just paying a bonus to everyone on the team rather than giving it all to one person and expecting them to share it out. It's not been made public whether Froome's prize for finishing second was also shared among the team. If it wasn't then maybe Wiggins felt it would be better to give more to the other riders who didn't have that additional prize money.

Avatar
doc_davo [31 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

sorry, some of the comments on here are just barmy!!!

how was froome a young up-start, his GT record over a shorter durations was probably as good a wiggins - 2nd places, and it it was better than Brad's before being given the leadership for the 2010 (shit result), 2011 (fell off) 2012 won a good race against with a very srtong team!

why would ypou be pissed off as well being in brad's position, it was obviously some agreement to pay the team out of his personal bonus, otherwise can you imagine that he'd just gove the money away? he would just say 'no'. so he obviously has some obligation to pay out.

also froomes prize money got dropped into the pot to share around (presumably) as per sky's well documented rules.

to call froomes wife a bint and she should stay out of it is comepletely out of order, she is his manager and as such handles his business afare - and what justifys the name calling?

Undeniably team orders held froome back from a potential win in 2012, him pushed the boundry (whether or not through inexperience) was morally wrong - but as Cav's new book says when he sides with froome, they were led to believe they would chase dreams at team sky.

also for a tream to hold a rider back becomes effectively cheating - similar to paying for a win, so either way its all a load of moral bullc*ap - it was an amazing year for wiggins, cultivateld by his hard work, national favoritism, Team SKY and BC - I'm sure the commercial oppurtunities for him will set him up financially to a point that would take froome 3-4 GT wins to achieve and even then he won't be the darling of British cycling like wiggins - regardless who remembers the second british guy to win the tour de france?

Avatar
Huw Watkins [92 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

"also for a tream to hold a rider back becomes effectively cheating"

What drivel. It's a team sport with designated leaders.

Independent of whether Froome could or could not have beaten Wiggins, he was not being paid to win the race in 2012.

His job - the one for which he was being paid - was to assist Wiggins in winning.

Should Wiggins have tanked, I'm sure Sky would have revised their strategy and promoted a new team leader. However, Wiggins wasn't tanking and hence there was no reason to change their plans.

Perhaps Wiggins didn't pay Froome his bonus because he didn't think Froome had done his job properly?

Avatar
wwfcb [85 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Leodis wrote:

So Froome who came 2nd received more money than Brad for winning... No wonder he didnt pay him, the cheek and disrespect of Froome and his greedy bint.

No need to use the term 'bint' which is pretty derogatory.

Avatar
kohakumark [22 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

With no drugs scandals on the horizon, we need to have some controversy from somewhere else to keep us all amused over the winter!  41

Avatar
gazzaputt [213 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Froome's missus is one gobshite.

I wouldn't have given Froome a penny.

Avatar
iawmcauslan [4 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Don't feel I have eaten enough angst and aggression for lunch this afternoon to comment in the common style of the thread. Why do people seem intent on picking the angelic/dickhead theme as something new to sport? It really isnt. We are lucky to have two British athletes to showcase the sport to the uninitiated and generate interest amongst some young kids who will hopefully drive the sport on in the UK at a time where people are starting to believe it is clean and honest. Here's to an amazing Grand Depart in Yorkshire next year!

Pages