LONDON, June 06, 2014 (AFP) – Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de
France winner, said Friday that he was “gutted” not to be selected for Team
Sky to compete in this year’s race.
Wiggins told BBC television that he would not take part in the race he
became the first British rider to win, with his team concentrating its efforts
on last year’s winner Chris Froome.
“The team is focused around Chris Froome,” the team leader, Wiggins, 34,
“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,” he explained.
“I’ve been working towards that all season. It’s disappointing because it
would perhaps have been my last Tour de France,” added Wiggins, who was
support rider to Froome last season but did not compete in the Tour de France.
On top of his 2012 triumph, Wiggins has won four Olympic gold medals both
on the track and the road.
This season the two rivals have been kept apart in warm up races ahead of
the Tour which starts in the English city of Leeds on July 5.
Wiggins recently won the Tour of California and is set to start the Tour of
Switzerland next week as Froome will build up to the Tour with the Dauphiné
Libere race which starts on Sunday.
“As it stands, all being well and Chris staying fit and healthy, that’s the
team,” added Wiggins.
“The past few weeks it’s become progressively clear that apart from
something happening to Froome in the Dauphine, I won’t do the Tour.
“The plan since the worlds last year, in an ideal world, was that Chris and
I would both do the Tour.
“I understood the role that I would play, that Chris would be the leader
and would try to win his second Tour and I was 100 percent behind that.
“And then during the Paris-Roubaix, Shane Sutton (Team Sky’s new boss) said
in the press that I needed to fight really hard to win a place, it was now
Chris’s team and Chris obviously had a say.
“The option that they (Sky) gave me was to return to track, to focus on the
Commonwealth Games end of July.
“So for the moment I’m going to do the individual pursuit and team with a
view to the Olympic Games in Rio. And then I hope to race the Vuelta (Tour of
“Personally it’s disappointing but you can also understand why they have
chosen this team.”
Wiggins, who had been the lead rider since the formation of the Sky Team in
2010, said he was now considering his future.
“For the moment I’m considering all the options but as things stand I still
haven’t any offer from Sky.
“It’s now quite clear next year that if I want to do the Tour, it is likely
that I’ll have to leave Sky.”