Bradley Wiggins has backed teammate Chris Froome to return to the Tour de France next year and lead Team Sky. Froome won the event this year, 12 months after Wiggins had become the first British rider to win the biggest event within the sport.
“If anything, it makes it his place now. I think he has earned the right to lead the team again next year and do it all again,” Wiggins told The Daily Mail. “I would have loved to have been there and done a job, but it wasn't to be. Maybe that is next year.”
Wiggins missed this year’s Tour due to injury. He had lined up as a favourite for the Giro d’Italia in May but cracked in the first week and pulled out eventually due to illness. He lost his battle to regain his form and fitness for July and missed out on selection for the Tour.
“At the time, it was very frustrating and disappointing, but not going to the Tour was probably the best thing that has happened to me.”
“In some ways it has been a bit of a wake-up call, a realisation. You are reminded things can't go well all the time. When you know the bad points, you really appreciate the good times."
Since returning to the spotlight, Wiggins has found some form, wining the time trial at the Tour of Poland in his quest to peak for the world championships in September.
“But I'm really good now, I'm back to where I was back in May,” he said. “It is all looking good for the next couple of months - Tour of Britain, world championships.”
Despite the growing popularity of cycling, especially within Wiggins' home nation, cycling has been blighted by a series of doping confessions in the last year.
“Even with all the problems cycling has had with the American guy, it is still growing all the time. People love it and that is fantastic,” he told The Daily Mail.