Details of uneasy rapport outlined in Walsh book
Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins will again race on the same Sky team in 2014 but further details of the pair's difficult relationship have emerged following the recent publication of a book on the team’s season by journalist David Walsh.
Inside Team Sky tells of how it took Wiggins over a year to pay Froome his share of the win bonus that was due to all of his teammates following his victory at the 2012 Tour de France.
The money was eventually paid out in September of this year, shortly before the world championships in Florence, but Froome's fiancée and business manager, Michelle Cound, has claimed that Wiggins only did so because he knew the matter would be discussed in Walsh's book.
"I don't believe Brad ever intended to pay Chris the bonus. I think the reason he did is because he knew it was coming out in the book," Cound told The Times. "Brad paying Chris really doesn't mean that much. It’s about a lot more than the sum of money."
Froome had already received his share of the team's prize money for the 2012 Tour received from organisers ASO, which was divided among the riders on the Tour-winning squad, but he appears to have been the last rider to receive a share of the estimated £1 million bonus that Wiggins received as part of his contract with the squad.
"People don't necessarily tell each other what bonus they have got. So we didn't know for sure what the situation was," Cound said. "We didn't know what the other riders got. But Brad paid Chris nothing [before September – ed.]"
Cound also confirmed that there had been no been no clear-the-air talks between Froome and Wiggins when they rode together at the world championships, their first time in the same race since the Tour of Oman in February. "Chris was supposed to sit down with Brad before the Worlds and it just never happened," she said.
For his part, Sky manager Dave Brailsford has declared himself satisfied that the bonus payments issue between Froome and Wiggins has been cleared up. "That was a matter for Bradley and Chris and it is now sorted," he said.
Wiggins and Froome are both expected to attend a team training camp in Majorca next week as they continue their preparations for the 2014 campaign.