Bradley Wiggins has admitted he may never again target overall success at the Tour de France, hinting that he is no longer prepared to make the sacrifices he made in 2012 to dominate stage races and win the Tour de France.
Wiggins has not spoken since Team Sky announced that he would not be part of this year's Tour team.
In the meantime, Chris Froome has been confirmed as the Team Sky's leader for the 100th edition of the Tour and his consistency has marginalised Wiggins and cast doubts about his future role at Team Sky.
“For me it was always about winning the Tour. I’ve done that. If I’m honest I don’t think I’m prepared to make those sacrifices again that I made last year, with my family and so on,” Wiggins told the Guardian's cycling correspondent William Fotheringham during the launch of an attempt on the Etape du Tour by a group of star rugby players in aid of the Joining Jack charity.
“I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved. I’m incredibly happy with that. If I do anything else after this it will be stuff I want to do, stuff that I’m willing to train hard and sacrifice for really. For me it was always about winning the Tour, that was a huge thing for me, a huge journey; I’ve been doing that four years. I don’t know if I’d want to go through all that again to be honest. I’ve always had other goals and there are other things I’d like to try and do.”
Froome is the Tour de France leader
Wiggins acknowledged that Chris Froome is now Team Sky’s first choice team leader for the Tour de France and this seems to be a factor in his future goals as a rider.
“Chris has really stepped up, he’s delivered now and he looks like he’s really going to be there for a few years to win a few Tours maybe,” Wiggins said.
“There has been a natural selection this year through Chris’s performances and my performances that he warrants being the team leader; and if he wins the Tour, that continues through to next year. I can live with that. I didn’t go to the altitude camp before the Giro because I wanted to be with my family; the kids are getting older and I like watching [my son] Ben play rugby and other things.”
Tour of Britain is the next goal
Wiggins has recovered from the knee injury that forced to quit the Giro d'Italia. He is now training for his return to racing at the Tour of Poland (July 27-August 3). He will not ride the Vuelta Espana, with the Tour of Britain (September 15-22) now his next big goal. A time trial stage favours his overall chances of success in the weeklong race. After that he hopes to target the world title in the time trial in Florence, a goal that has escaped him several times over the years.
His homeland race is "a race I’ve always wanted to do well in," Wiggins said. "It’s getting bigger every year and in terms of profile in this country it’s a nice thing to do well in,” he said of the British stage race.
“The worlds was always a focus and if anything this gives me a better opportunity to focus on it. Doing the Giro and the Tour it was always a matter of how much would be left because there is an eight-week period from the end of the Tour to the Worlds which is a long time. This has given me time to stop after the Giro and I’ve got a nice chunk of time to get ready for the Worlds.”