Bradley Wiggins says in BBC interview that he will not be selected for Team Sky's Tour de France team this July

Bradley Wiggins has said that he will not ride in the 2014 Tour de France when the race starts in Yorkshire on July 5, unless there is a change in circumstance at Team Sky.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Friday morning, Wiggins said that Sky’s Tour team is centred around 2013 Tour champion Chris Froome and that he would not be part of the roster ‘as things stand’.

“The team is focused around Chris Froome,” said Wiggins. “I am gutted. I’ve worked extremely hard for this throughout the winter and up to the summer. I feel I am in the form I was two years ago.

“But I also understand that cycling is a team sport and it is all about Team Sky winning and Chris is defending champion.”

Despite winning the 2012 Tour, Wiggins did not participate in last year’s race due to injury. Froome took up leadership duties for Sky, and duly won. The relationship between Wiggins and Froome has often been rocky, and the two have not raced together this year, or taken part in any pre-Tour training together.

Froome’s new book, The Climb, does not pull any punches in relation to the two riders’ falling out during the 2012 Tour, which will not do anything to quell any animosity.

Froome will start the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday as part of his Tour build-up, and Wiggins will lead Sky at the Tour de Suisse over June 14-22. Both riders have been on good form in the past month, with Wiggins winning the Tour of California in May and Froome taking the overall victory in the Tour de Romandie.

Wiggins non-participation in the Tour will deny spectators the once-in-a-lifetime chance of seeing two British Tour de France champions starting in the race on home turf – a decision which will not be popular with fans.

Wiggins’ contract with Sky ends this season, and it remains to be seen whether he will renew with the team or move to another squad. He has also previously said that he wishes to return to the track for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

  • Paisley Panda

    Let’s not forget the time trial. This is on Stage 20 this year, at the end of three weeks of burst-your-guts cycling. Wiggins is one of the few pros who can take on Tony Martin with a realistic chance of success. Cancellara and Froome would be two more. Does Sky really want to throw away an excellent chance of a stage win in the time trial?

    Get the toys back in the prams, chaps, and let common sense prevail.

  • Paisley Panda

    Pro cycling teams invest a lot of money in the sport to get a lot of good publicity through success. However, Sky seem to have scored the ultimate own goal.

    The team has the two past winners of the greatest cycling event in the calendar – which millions will tune in to.

    There should be four weeks of free advertising of the Sky brand in the run-up to the Grand Depart in England: four weeks of ultra positive publicicity, with the spotlight on the past two winners and the fact that the Tour kicks off in the UK. Add to that the fact that Wiggins is one of the UK’s greatest olympians, and one of the few cyclists that the general UK public are aware of, and the positive airtime would be assured

    Instead it looks like there could be negative publicity, with the apparent frostiness between Wiggins and Froome hugging the airwaves…..and there was me thinking that Dave Brailsford was the Alex Ferguson of cycling.

    Unbelievable!

  • Philip Grant

    Lets hope, some how, Brad gets the ride this year. The race is going to be dull otherwise. No Quintana and only Contador as real competition, though he might have started the year too strongly to be at his best in July. You would have to think there’s a possible 123 for Sky if Brad rides. Then there’s the great entertainment of seeing three riders working Contador over. Could have been glorious, but now the prospect’s sounding rather pedestrian.

    It is a failure of management, naming no names, not using your best resources, cause you couldn’t sit them down and sort it out for the team’s sake. The riders are paid to do a job, for the team and the sponsors, if it’s thought one rider might do something detrimental, there are no doubt many ways to make sure they think better of it: the embarrassment of publicly going against your word, the damage to reputation, breach of contract maybe, when, instead, all could come out of it so much greater in stature for being real men who could put aside the bitching to get a job done.

    If I were the sponsors, I’d be demanding them both ride, for the best squad and the massive publicity such a story can generate over the weeks ahead. Hmm… could this all be a set up by Sky to get the public talking and create huge drama with a last moment selection?

  • Jaked

    I for one will not be supporting Team Sky or Froome this year. Team SKY should be ashamed of this decision. Wiggo in Britain is what everyone wants to see, not the Kenyan Born Froome. Serious Own Goal by SKY

  • Musicmaster

    Sky are paying a tour winners salary to Sir Wiggo, so why wouldn’t they want him in the team when the start is in Yorkshire near where Bradley Wiggins lives?
    Froome doesn’t live in the UK!
    Its Chris Froome’s girlfriend/manager behind the scenes who is spitefully stirring it up.
    Sir Dave doesn’t like arguments but I’ m sure James Murdoch, the money behind SKY pro cycling, would insist that Bradley does the job he is being paid millions to do. It looks like Quintana and Contador will team up to beat Froome in the mountains. Without Sir Wiggo’s talent winning the time trials and putting minutes into them, SKY are likely to lose the tour.They should never have got rid of their tour winning DS Sean Yates. If they lose this tour without wiggo that could be the end of team sky.

  • Sue

    Disgusting decision. Brad is in great shape, has a big engine and has already said he will work for Froome. Come on Team Sky and give the fans what they want to see!

  • Jon

    Froomes win on Ventoux last year was the best ride by any British rider ever. Wiggo is a true great but he pays the percentages, sits in and takes a tow. Added to which he talks nonsense most of the time and is clearly a bit of a head case. Froome is on a different level as a rider and a human being. Hats off to wiggo for his past achievements but lets get over it and applaud chris froome as the best and most attacking cyclist ever to ride for Britain

  • Annabel

    Im gutted that Bradley Wiggins is not going to be riding the Tour de France I think its very unfare especially all the hard work he”s put into it.

  • Dave

    hang on – Team Sky haven’t announced the team yet – this is Bradley’s account and he could easily be stirring things up. It would be great to see Brad at the tour de France, but there is no way he could win it – whereas Froome has a great chance. Yeah Brad could lead Froome up the early parts of a mountain – but actually the peloton were wise to Sky’s 2012 tactics of constantly controlling the race – and burst them apart at every opportunity last year (Dan Martin and also Movistar). Froome handled that just fine by himself – so shouldn’t worry. So long as Quintana doesn’t decide to show up – the tour is Froome’s!

  • 67Timbob .

    Maybe Bradly can negotiate a release from Team Sky and line up at Le Tour with another team-this scenario has precedents!!
    Massive own goal & bad publicity for Team Sky…..

    • Pee Bee

      I like it

    • RJDW

      Agree – let him ride for for his next team….

  • Alison Manners

    So angry to hear this today. There were weaknesses shown by team sky last year and they were exposed on some of the mountain stages despite froom’s form and personal dominance. Wiggins deserves to be there over other riders. Shame on you team sky.

    • Pam B

      I agree with Ian , thoroughly disgusted with this decision, Chris Froome obviously feels threatened by Wiggins, not only his cycling ability but his popularity with the public, lets face it everyone has heard of Bradley Wiggins,cyclists and non cyclists alike, I am sorry to say that the same cannot be said of Chris Froome !!

  • ian franklin

    I am so disgusted with this decision and have a very strong feeling that it will backfire against the team. Sorry Wiggo, you deserved to be there.

  • J M

    Wiggins had earned the right to be the first British man to win the Tour. His super domestique was Froome; it is a team sport. Froome unforgivably attacked Wiggins. He breached the trust between them. Wiggins responded badly; he did not pay Froome after the Tour until Brailsford intervened months later. Wiggins was conveniently injured in 2013; he never looked in shape. After his dream 2012 who can blame him? Froome led the team and won the Tour. Now he is entitled to defend. Apparently the breach of trust remains. Stage 20 is a TT. Wiggins could win that stage and if close enough to Froome take yellow at the last gasp. Perhaps Froome is frit? It is ironic that the man who precipitated the breach of trust gets to call the shots. However, Team Sky would do well to remember 2011. Wiggins crashed out and they had no Plan B. Who is their Plan B this year? As we saw in California, Wiggins is in awesome form at present.

    • Peter Mansfield

      A contrary view… what I saw in 2012 was Froome giving Brad a lead which he simply couldn’t follow. He didn’t attack, Brad just dropped back! Froome’s dilemma would have been that if Brad really failed they would risk both being caught and the yellow going anyway, when he (Froome) could easily have taken the stage and gained time giving Sky a potential 1-2. Sky were obviously committed to the narrative that Brad had to win – for the reasons you suggest -’earned the right, better known &c’ and that was what they did. I know nothing of the personal relations between the two and don’t pay much heed to gossip but I suspect that the real problem was that when Sky hired Froome as a super dom they hadn’t realised how good he was!
      His ride last year confirmed that he was a potential multiple winner, riding easily at his natural weight. Wiggins said himself that he didn’t think he’d win many and there are obvious reasons why, As a good time triallist he could win a tour of the ‘gain time in the tts and then don’t get dropped’ style but he is unilkely to come up with the all out attacking wins that make Chris Froome so watchable. I wish them both well and think its a pity if there isn’t room for both, and for the team to support both if they were going well but if its a case of ‘Number One or nothing’ and Sky want to win then Froome imho, has the stronger case.

      • J M

        Fair points. As is always the case, there are different ways of viewing any situation. Agree Froome is a potential multiple Grand Tour winner. Great shame, however, that we will not get to see them both riding in July.

        • Peter Mansfield

          Absolutely: giving a fair run to their different styles and strengths would make a fascinating show and its a pity that Sky don’t have the confidence to go for a 1-2!

  • Simon

    Brad should leave Team Sky when his contract expires. He was the first British rider ever to win the Tour, and I think the team has let him down and treated him like s**t since. He should be allowed to have another bash at winning the Tour. I’m sure the British public would love to see him start in Yorkshire, the team should respect this. At the end of the day, regardless who wins, it’s all about puplicity, and what could be better that 2 Tour winners on the same team starting the same race. I think Froome maybe a little jealous and not want Brad around as I think Brad is probably the more popular rider!

    • Andy Reid

      Why would a team that wants to win a 3 week tour take up 1 of 9 team places just for a guy that wants to feather his own nest. This is pro cycling not pr contest

  • Ian

    Regardless of who will be lead rider for the TdF, it’s a pretty poor show that all this bickering comes to the fore at a time when the team needs to focus on the task ahead of them and display a united force to the outside world.

    • Chris

      Don’t worry Ian, Froome has known from Day 1 that Wiggins wouldn’t be around, only Porte failing to come back to full fitness would have adjust his plans.

  • RJDW

    Whilst the event and team are bigger than one individual – assuming Wiggins is fit enough then Team SKY should have included him – just for the PR of the brand and goodwill of the British public to cycling in general. I’m no particular fan of his, but the British public will be confused and perplexed by his omission. Without a doubt he is definitely off to another team next year, and I bet he can’t wait!

  • Mr Moseley

    Lets all support Nibali then, Froome should not have gone to the 2012 tour then by this logic and to those people who say he could have won it? No Chance he couldn’t have taken what he lost in the TT stages and then performed as well as he did in the TT. Its a no brainer, I hope Froome and Team Sky have a crap tour, Team Sky is Bradley Wiggins and he never had the chance to defend his title, he is in good form now and deserves his on that alone!

    • lee

      No one man is bigger than the team.
      The Team remains and Froome is younger and arguably much better able to cope with attacks and accelerations in the mountains, he proved that very nicely last year. The 2012 TdF was a flatter than average course. Taking nothing away from Wiggo, he is a fantastic rider and great guy to represent the sport…. but it is professional cycling.

      • Chris

        I agree that no one man is bigger than the team, but that also should be applied to Froome. Wiggins couldn’t win the TdF this year, but would be a better climber, cobble stage rider and powering on the flats than most of the other 8 riders. Only Porte could probably out climb Wiggins from the probable lineup, but he is no rock and got caught out last year with the rest of the team, I personally think Wiggins could have stayed in the front group with Froome. I’m hoping Nibali and Contador push Froome more than we’re expecting, rather than competing for a podium finish. We shall see!

        • dourscot

          But Wiggo’s ability and form aren’t the issue here, it’s the clash of personalities.

          No matter how good Wiggins is if Brailsford picked two riders who ended up attacking each other, he’d be staring at a probable PR disaster. Sure it would be great to watch as long as one of them won the Tour.

          And if neither did?

          • Chris

            But that would be down to management to tell Wiggins that Froome is #1, Porte is #2 and he is there to do a job. If he isn’t happy with supporting the team then that is his decision not attend. If he agrees to that but attacks Froome, then Sky would pull the rider or simply not support him.

          • dourscot

            You’re making it sound simpler that is is.

            Wiggins would never ‘attack’ Froome but his presence could still cause issues for the mood of the whole team if it’s clear the two men aren’t getting on. Winning the TdF requires absolute commitment from everyone. If one person isn’t onboard, that spreads disaffection.

          • Pedro Nogo

            as opposed the actual PR disater he’s facing now….

      • Pee Bee

        But that is the point. Unfortunately Froome thinks he is bigger than the team!

    • Pee Bee

      Jolly well said Mr Moseley. Spot on.

      I also strongly disagree with this phrase in the article above:

      “Despite winning the 2012 Tour, Wiggins did not participate in last year’s race due to injury. Froome took up leadership duties for Sky, and duly won.”

      Froome did not take up leadership because Wiggons was injured. He had already disrespectfully elbowed Wiggo out of the way almost a year earlier.

    • gus

      Better still lets all drop the sky sports subscription (those that have it) to show them our disgust in missing the chance to support wiggo over the butter tubs. we can watch the tour on Eurosport via the internet