Bradley Wiggins (Sky) suggested today that he may never return to the Tour de France, which he won last year.

“I’ve done that,” he told the Guardian. “If I’m honest I don’t think I’m prepared to make those sacrifices again.”

Wiggins is preparing for a return, possibly in the Tour of Poland, and the World Championship time trial in September. It comes after a difficult season, including abandoning the Giro d’Italia last month.

Last year, he was the top stage racer. He won Paris-Nice, Tour of Romandy and the Critérium du Dauphiné in his lead-up to the Tour. An Olympic gold medal in London added to the celebrations and helped him earn knighthood.

Instead of sacrifices, he explained that he wants to enjoy family time this year.

“I didn’t go to the altitude camp before the Giro because I wanted to be with my family,” he added. “The kids are getting older and I like watching [my son] Ben play rugby and other things.”

Chris Froome has been Sky’s star this year, winning several stage races on the way to leading the team in the Tour de France. Wiggins was to join him, but his Giro abandon, due to a chest infection, and knee pains put an end to his French ride.

The newspaper reports that he expects to race in Poland, starting July 27, the Tour of Colorado and the Tour of Britain heading to the Worlds in Florence. Froome, Wiggins said, merited his role as Sky leader.

“There has been a natural selection this year through Chris’s performances and my performances that he warrants being the team leader,” he added. “And if he wins the Tour, that continues through to next year. I can live with that.”

The Tour may never again feature in his programme.

Wiggins did not say, but he could focus on one-day classics, like Paris-Roubaix, and time trials.

“For me it was always about winning the Tour… I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved. I’m incredibly happy with that,” Wiggins explained.

“If I do anything else after this it will be stuff I want to do, stuff that I’m willing to train hard and sacrifice for really. For me it was always about winning the Tour, that was a huge thing for me, a huge journey; I’ve been doing that four years. I don’t know if I’d want to go through all that again to be honest.”

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  • Seacilin

    I can absolutely empathise with the comments above re “working for the man for another 45 years” etc. etc., and it is a shame that Wiggins feels at present that he does not wish to ride another Tour. However, I can also appreciate his desire to be with his family – it is probably worth remembering that Wiggins’ father was also a professional cyclist and, from all accounts, was a complete scumbag as well. I’d say Wiggins has a lot invested in NOT being anything like his father – and, ultimately, it’s only a cycle race, it’s not the be all and end all of one’s existence. Equally, whether or not Wiggins ever wins another race, he is and will always be the first British winner of the Tour de France and for that alone (quite aside from his other successes) he should be applauded.

  • Rob Bingham

    He’ll be back. I’d love to see him make a serious run at Paris-Roubaix. A guy with his TT skills, as long as he learns how to ride the cobbles, could pull a Cancellara in that race.

  • Mike

    The fact remains, this is his job and he is being paid a huge amount of money by Sky to do it.

    “I didnt go to the altitude camp before the Giro cos I wanted to be with my family” That statement beggars belief. If any of us tried to cop out of doing our job with a statement like that we would be in big trouble with our employers.
    Wiggins has 18 months left on his very lucrative contract. He should give it 100% for that time, then he can sit at home and enjoy his kids. The rest of us? well……we have to work for the man for at least 45 years.

  • Sue Powdrill

    Sir Bradley has made firm plans for this year and suggestions for his future that are based on how he feels in the light of an unfortunate season so far. Only he knows how bitterly disappointed he is about this year’s Tour. I am sure he will feel differently after some good results to come in planned races and tours for the remainder of tis season. Next year is another year. The Tour de France 2014 which starts in Yorkshire may be a huge pull for him and I sincerely hope that he will consider it. He certainly has a continuing future as British ambassador for cycling and a role in further promoting the Tour of Britain as a major event, hopefully to Grand Tour status. Thus far he is still the most successful British cyclist to date with unique achievements. He has earned the respect and honour of the Nation.

  • Terry

    He’s done enough to enter my own heroic hall of fame and this year was always going to be a motivational issue anyway.
    I’ve waited a very long time for British success and will cherish the last few years, especially watching Brad in yellow, leading Cav out in Paris and then riding down the Champs with his son- a magic moment.
    He has nothing to prove- he really has ‘been there’ ‘done that’.

  • Proud to be British

    Good for you Bradley. Ride off into the Tour de France sunset with your wife and family, and be proud of what you have achieved on your bike and how you did it. Nobody can take that away from you regardless of what people might say or write.

    Meanwhile let us hope that our new best thing since Eddy Merckx’s sliced bread, does not do an Icarus in the Tour de France like he did in the Vuelta.

  • Mike

    Thats all well and good Brad, but we all have to go to work to earn a living so we can bring up our kids. You are lucky enough to only have to do this for 10 to 15 years, most of us have to do it for at least 45 years.
    Man up and get on with it. This from one of his biggest supporters.