• Tour de France

Wiggins: I have unfinished business with Tour de France

ESPN staff
March 6, 2014
Sir Bradley Wiggins has reiterated he is happy to play a supporting role to Chris Froome © PA Photos

Sir Bradley Wiggins has told the Independent he still has "unfinished business" with the Tour de France but insists he is willing to play second fiddle to defending champion Chris Froome for Team Sky in this year's race.

The pair endured a rocky relationship during the 2012 Tour, when Wiggins withheld Froome's share of £1 million in bonus money after the race. Wiggins questioned his teammate's loyalty having believed Froome attacked his lead on two key stages.

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford stepped in to settle the matter between the two, though they endured an internal power struggle for leadership of Team Sky before Wiggins picked up an injury during last year's Giro d'Italia. He went on to miss the 2013 Tour, with Froome making it back-to-back Yellow Jerseys for Team Sky.

But having now accepted Froome is higher in the pecking order, Wiggins is still looking to impress come July.

"Froome's got the mantle [of leadership] now which is good but I've still got unfinished business with the Tour," Wiggins said.

"I want to do something else at the Tour, whether it's a great ride for Chris or the chance to win another time trial there.

"With it starting in the UK, too, it's going to be a celebration of where British cycling has come from and I want to be part of that.

"In the case of the Tour, I see myself in that train with Richie [Porte] and whoever else it is, being one of the last guys there and to be there when it matters.

"There were a couple of times last year when Chris was really isolated and I want to be in a position that I can be there when that happens."

Wiggins also admitted he was happy to no longer have to deal with the pressure of being Tour de France champion at a time when the sport was under the microscope following the lifetime ban handed down to Lance Armstrong for doping.

"I wasn't handling being Tour champion very well. All that Lance stuff had kicked off and I didn't want to be in that position. It's just different now," he said. "It's really liberating not being in the position of constantly being asked 'can you win the Tour?'"

Froome was dogged by questions of doping during last year's Tour, something which Wiggins could empathise with.

"He [Froome] got so much crap," added Wiggins. "His performances were so dominant but they were also genuine. I know everyone says that we were all lied to by Lance but the testing wasn't as scrupulous back then. You'd have to be mad to do it [dope] in this day and age, maybe a bit psychopathic.

"That's the stage cycling is in at the moment and I don't know if the cynicism and suspicion is going to get worse. Maybe for the next few years that is what we have to expect."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close