Bradley Wiggins tips Chris Froome for Olympic glory

'If anyone can do it, he can do it'

Bradley Wiggins has tipped his former teammate Chris Froome (Team Sky) to back up Tour de France glory with Olympic Games success in Rio de Janeiro.

Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012 and followed that up with a gold medal in the time trial less than two weeks later at the London Olympics. Froome finished second that year in the Tour and claimed bronze behind Wiggins in the time trial but heads to Rio with a third Tour title under his belt. He will compete in both the hilly road race and the time trial with ambitions of medalling in at least one of the events. He starts the time trial as arguably the favourite after Tom Dumoulin's chances of competing became uncertain after crashing out of the Tour de France with an injured wrist.

Wiggins, who is looking for a final Olympic gold medal on the track as part of Great Britain's team pursuit squad, has tipped Froome for Olympic success but pointed out that his fellow countryman may have a tougher job than he himself had four years ago.

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"I think it's probably harder for him this time. He has to travel to a completely different Continent and we came back home and that is probably more challenging for Chris."

Wiggins has previously described his Tour-Olympic combo as one extended event, stating that his performances at the Tour in 2012 gave him a clear indication that if he kept his focus then a win in London would be secured. For Froome, the task looks somewhat tougher due to the travel and the slightly extended time period between the Tour finish and the Rio road race on August 6 followed by the time trial on August 10.

"You're going through the motions of racing and in that Tour in particular I got stronger in that third week and won that last time trial so I knew that because I won that last time trial by a minute and a half all I had to do was keep my head on for ten days and do the same performance. The power I averaged that day, I knew nothing was going to change in ten days. There wasn't too many challenges for me to overcome other than I couldn't get down my lane [where he lived - ed.] for a couple of days.

"He can do it, definitely, the way he won the Tour, that [form] isn't going to go anywhere for two weeks. If anyone can do it, he can do it of all those people there at the Tour."

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IOC faced with tough decision over Russia

Wiggins was speaking to a select number of the press ahead at Great Britain's Olympic holding pen in Newport Wales. The team is putting the final touches to their Games' preparations but the event has been overshadowed by the doping revelations from Russia and the IOC's recent decision not to ban all athletes from that nation.

Wiggins admitted that his knowledge of the story was not great but while he had sympathy for clean Russian riders, he also called for strong action.

"I'll be honest, I've just caught up with this news this morning because I don't really follow it. I've been paying GTA for three or four days. I don't know to be honest. I'm just glad I've got nothing to do with IOC and I'm not running it. There's probably more going on behind the scenes. It's more disappointing for the clean athletes there that want to compete."

Wiggins then pointed to his experiences, which included leaving the Tour de France in 2007 (or 06) as part of the Cofidis team after one of his then teammates, Cristian Moreni tested positive for testosterone during the race.

"It has happened in cycling, I know from the Tour de France nine years ago because one of my teammates tested positive and we all got thrown off the Tour with three days to go. I know how that felt. So you have to always think there's a minority spoiling it for a lot of them and I'm sure there are a lot of clean Russian athletes so for them it's a shit situation to be in."

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