• Cycling

Wiggins admits doubts over Tour spot

ESPN staff
April 15, 2014
Wiggins believes he has recovered his form after a forgettable 2013 season © Getty Images

Sir Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour de France, admits he is not guaranteed a place in the Team Sky squad for the 2014 edition of the race.

The 2012 winner of the Yellow Jersey finished ninth in the Paris-Roubaix classic on Sunday, known as the 'Hell of the North' for its bone-jangling cobbled sections, and believes his form is returning after a disastrous 2013 season.

Wiggins was caught up in a power struggle with team-mate Chris Froome in the build-up to last year's Tour but has conceded that Froome, who went on to win the race, is the de facto leader of the British team this year.

And while Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford has spoken in the past of mounting a twin assault at the Tour de France, Wiggins has accepted that his primary role in this year's race would be to ride in support of Froome - if he is involved at all.

Shane Sutton, who has succeeded Brailsford as British Cycling's technical director, told the Independent that Team Sky planned to put the "best riders available on the grid" for Froome to defend his Yellow Jersey.

"I'm not sure whether Brad is going to be on that list," he added.

And Wiggins, who missed last year's Tour through injury after illness saw him quit the Giro d'Italia, knows his place in the team is far from guaranteed.

"One thing this team has is a lot of strength in depth, particularly in the mountains," Wiggins told the BBC.

"I'll do everything possible to try and be there but, as Shane Sutton said, it is Chris's team and he'll have a big say in who he puts around him and who he's confident having in front of him in the mountains.

"I would love to be there. I've proved I've got the legs at the moment and I'm coming to where I need to be now, if I can just push on."

Wiggins, who said last month that this could be his last Tour de France before he focuses on Rio 2016, will compete for England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, a week after the Tour.

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