Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins have talked over their differences to come to a reconciliation during a Team Sky training camp in Mallorca.
The Tour de France winning pair have been at odds since the 2012 Tour, when Froome rode away from Wiggins on stage 11 of the race to the summit of La Toussuire. Froome was subsequenely called back by then Sky sports director Sean Yates, but in the eyes of Wiggins, the damage had been done. Froome has always insisted it was a misunderstanding.
Wiggins was ready to quit the Tour after that incident, but team principal David Brailsford persuaded him to carry on – and he went on to become the first British rider to win the race. Since then, the relationship between Froome and Wiggins has been frosty with rumours circulating that Froome has only just been paid a cut of Wiggins’ 2012 Tour winner’s money.
Wiggins missed the 2013 Tour due to injury, and Froome went on to win the race without his team-mate. The two met again during the rain-lashed World Championships road race in Florence, Italy, but neither rider made an impact on the race with both withdrawing before the finale.
According to an interview with the Daily Mail, Froome and Wiggins have now settled their personal differences. “It was very constructive and we are in a good place now,” said Froome of their talk. “It was important we did that and it was important for the team, too.”
Wiggins and Froome in the 2012 Tour de France
“The incident in 2012 was at the root of it all,” confirmed Froome. “I’m not sure it was that big a problem but it was all played out so much in the media, it was allowed to escalate.”
Wiggins appears ready to support Froome during the 2014 Tour de France. The fact that the race’s first three stages are in Britain adds an extra dimension to the reconciliation – cycling fans the world over will want to see the two British Tour de France champions ride together on home soil.
Wiggins attended Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to receive his knighthood from the Queen. When asked whether he would take the lead in the 2014 Tour, Wiggins said: “At the moment, Chris is the current winner of the Tour de France and he has a right to defend that title next year and if I can play a support role, I’d love to be back in a successful team and back on the start line.”
Sir Bradley Wiggins knighted by Queen