Why Sir Bradley has to ride the Tour de France

Oh, Bradley what did you do that was so wrong? The 2012 Tour de France winner is in fine form with just over three weeks until the big race but Bradley Wiggins reckons he has little to no chance of making the Team Sky line-up.

With the Grand Départ in Yorkshire and stage three finishing outside Buckingham Place, it is simply unthinkable that the cycling knight will be sidelined because of a personality clash with Chris Froome. Fearing the inevitable, Wiggins scored a pre-emptive strike when he announced his exclusion live on BBC Breakfast last Friday.

“As it stands I won’t be there,” he told viewers. “I am gutted. I’ve worked extremely hard for this all winter. I feel I’m in the form I was two years ago at the 2012 Tour de France.”

Wiggins’s lament put team boss Dave Brailsford on the defensive. “The team for the Tour is not yet finalised,” he insisted.

“I will be the one making the decision on who is in that team. The riders can offer an opinion but they don’t select the team and they never will.”

In the likelihood that he’ll go for the soft option and chuck Wiggo out, it will leave fans cheated of seeing their hero race just because Brailsford wants a quiet life at Team Sky. We’re backing Wiggo for the Tour. Nothing else makes sense.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • Maraboustork

    Froome is the one who has been most prolifically vocal regarding his differences with Wiggo and now he’s out… Brailsford put his eggs in one basket and lost. Having the two in would have assured stronger competition…but the Ozzie Richie may yet shine in his absence.
    Does anyone agree that there is something not quite trusting about Froome?

  • Lee

    Has everyone forgot froomes tantrums having to support Wiggins in the mountains and going on tv and papers crying he should be ditching Wiggins and going for the yellow.when froome struggled in the mountains the team mate who dragged him up didn’t then go CRY to the media.

  • Dabber

    Given that Sky will want a full compliment of committed riders to support Froome, Brailsford should not consider including Wiggins in the team. He has shown himself to be unreliable, and given to riding on how the mood takes him on the day. This isn’t what the team need. He could be a terrific asset if in the mood, but if not a big liability.
    Would you TRUST him to turn up and perform. If I was Brailsford I wouldn’t.

  • NitroFan

    I respect Bradley Wiggins for everything he has achieved I was not only delighted when he became the first British winner of the TDF in 2012 but hugely proud of the man and British Cycling and I still feel the same way.

    However I also remember watching at his arrogant displays with the media back in 2010 the lounging back in his chair during TV interviews wearing dark glasses and the massive offhand “I have made it” attitude he displayed,and I remember thinking this is not good Bradley not good at all you are behaving like some kind of superstar that has already won this thing. That came back to bite him and the team in that seasons attempt at the TDF.

    Only SPC know what went on with Froome’s TDF bonus and why, but CF is clearly a talented rider and perhaps BW went a step too far without thinking further down the road? Of course you have to be arrogant to be a winner without that he would not be the rider that he is, but I suspect Bradley is currently reaping some of what he himself has sown.

    I truly hope there is a way for Bradley to compete in this years TDF with SPC but I am not holding my breath.

  • Sue

    I second it as well!!!!! Wiggins said he WOULD work for Froome, so Brailsford must pick him.

  • Del

    Does Robert Garbutt really think that he could manage Team Sky better than Dave Brailsford?

  • Jim

    Hinault and Lemond again? well that worked out……….sort of………….

  • Greg

    Team Sky has enough power for the flats and chase back any breaks so don’t need his engine and Wiggins wouldnt offer anything of note in the high mountains and would just unsettle the team. He has led Cav before, but he didnt lead out Tyler Farrar.

    • poisonjunction

      or Taffy after surviving the cobbles recently – and so proud of his 8th place!!

  • Cliff

    Of course Cycling Weekly want him to ride: their special Tour magazine looks a bit silly otherwise, with their ‘Brad is back’ feature!

  • Musicmaster

    If you were paying tour winners millions to Sir Wiggo wouldn’t James Murdoch insist on seeing him do the job he pays him for? Just for the goodwill alone. A lot of people will cancel their SKY subscription if Wiggo doesn’t ride the tour. Richie Porte is recovering from illness and Froome’s asthma is playing up. Time for plan B?

    • lee

      I wouldn’t pay my Sky subscription is Wiggins DOES get selected. Wiggo is not a one-man team and its a 3-wk race not a 3-day race

      • Roger

        As the World Cup starts today I cannot believe that Sky are very interested in cycling viewers in the UK to greatly boost their revenues. When they formed this team they were wanting to increase their European coverage not specifically in theUK.
        Whatever, i t is their money and their decision as to how it is spent.
        Finally, I wonder when in 2012 Sky realised they had two potential winners and did they take the soft answer then?

      • Lesley Boniface

        I agree – lets face it there are another 190 riders taking part – I’d much rather see them in Yorkshire!

  • binghammer

    Can’t believe that Wiggins, the first Brit to win Tour de France, could be left out
    of Sky’s team when the Tour starts in Yorkshire next month.
    The British public will expect to see Wiggins line up alongside last year’s winner Froome, never mind concerns over the pair clashing over leadership.
    Check out the 1986 Tour when La Vie Claire’s two headstrong stars – Hinault the five times Tour winner and LeMond who won his first – fought for the yellow jersey in a tense battle of minds over several days before LeMond finally got the upper hand. Their manager Paul Koechli admitted it was difficult having two potential winners in one team.
    If Koechli could handle it, surely Brailsford is up to the task?

  • mgj

    All the best riders should be there. And that means he Must be included

  • sour kraut

    I back Wiggins, yes its a race but it also entertainment don’t forget, its about viewers and column inches, like it or not. Having Wiggo along would certainly make the race more appealing and interesting to many potential Sky subscribers especially in the UK. Remember the delightful friction between Contador and Armstrong for Astana.
    Picking Wiggo alone would make me want to subscribe to Sky television. btw cycling weekly belongs to news international doesn’t it?

  • Jon

    It’s a race, not some kind of celebrity jamboree, and including a big personality Froome doesn’t get one with is hardly going to boost his chances and could put him off his game over the 3 weeks they are stuck together.

  • Andrew Lloyd

    Cheap, sensationalist nonsense positioned to garner popularity with Wiggo’s fans. Wiggo says a different thing every 6 months and seems to forget on each occasion that he said the opposite last time. There was a point not so long along when he said he was retiring in 2014. You can’t believe a word the guy says. If I was Froome I wouldn’t trust him for a second.

    And there’s the rub. Froome is the only Sky guy who can win. So he needs guys he can trust. Wiggo need not apply no matter how good he is or was.

  • Jock

    On the bike Wiggins offers no more as a teammate than any of the others
    and off the bike, he would go out of his way to unsettle the squad. He needs to start looking for a new team, he has overstayed his welcome and alienated many at SKY

  • reece46

    Leaving out Wiggo is not ‘the soft option’, it’ll have half the casual viewing public and seemingly Journo’s on DB’s back. Cav and David Millar both point to examples of Wiggins’ selfishness in their books. The 2013 World Champs were a disaster all round for GB but Wiggins was the first to go AWOL in support of Froome, and that was supposedly after they had made up. Wiggins has also gone renegade with this statement, he’d throw his dummy if Froome or DB had done something similar, it’s too late and too much of a risk to the team harmony.

  • ian franklin

    I almost never agree with RG, the man who destroyed CW, But this time I do agree 100%. Off course there is no question. Wiggins should be on the Tour team.

  • SCS

    Put yourself in Chris Froome’s position. Do you have someone in your team that you like, you trust and will do everything to help you win the tour, or do you have Wiggins?
    As much as I, the general public, the tour organisers and Sky as a sponsor all want Wiggins at the Tour, it doesn’t mean it’s the right decision.

  • bfalks

    Wiggins was the second best rider on his team the year he won it

  • Tim Kendall

    Brad said that he won’t work for Froome? Can you remind me when he said that?

    • 2014proteams

      Perhaps a better question is when has Wiggins actually shown that he is willing to work for someone else ?

      • Josh Tambini

        Ask Cav

        • Andrew Lloyd

          Ask Cav in 2008 or in 2011?

  • HaworthBantam

    If Sky want to win the tour then they must back Froome, and build a team
    around him. Wiggins has already said that he wont work for Froome, and
    as such, has ruled himself out. Brailsford would be making a huge
    mistake if he picked Brad for the tour…

    • yenrod

      Are you on a different planet?

  • Dunc

    I second this article!