Bradley Wiggins has had a strained relationship with Chris Froome but the 2012 Tour de France champion believes that can change this season.
“We're the two elder statesmen of the team, if you like, we're the two who've had most of the success for Team Sky. It seems strange that we didn't race together at all last year. I think the more we can communicate, the more we can race together and I think it's better for everybody in the team,” Wiggins said in an interview with Sky Sports News.
Injuries aside, there could see a reversal to the 2012 Tour de France set up, with the 33-year-old acting as a super-domestique for Froome. The two are also due to ride together at Tirreno-Adriatico, in March. Wiggins has put aside his own grand tour ambitions and has hinted at the possibility he could have a tilt at the Paris-Roubaix title.
The tension between the two stems from Wiggins' successful Tour de France campaign, when he felt Froome had attacked him on La Toussuire. According to Froome's partner, Michelle Cound, Wiggins withheld the share of the winnings until just before the 2013 World Championships in Florence.
Wiggins was set to ride in aid of Froome in last year's edition of the race, after a war of words over who would take the leadership role, but a knee injury prevented that from happening. In fact Wiggins missed much of the season after he abandoned the Giro, resulting in the two only competing together at the Tour of Oman and the World Championships, where Wiggins abandoned before the peloton hit the circuits.
Compared to the previous year, 2013 was a flop for Wiggins. He salvaged something with overall victory at the Tour of Britain and a silver medal in the time trial at the World Championships. The year gave Wiggins time to consider his position within the Sky team and in August he announced that he would only ride another year for the team before returning to his cycling beginnings on the track.
Time and the decision to move back to the track seems to have mellowed Wiggins' feelings towards Froome. The two have since met away from racing at the team's training camp in Mallorca. “We were in camp together here in December. We spent time together."
“He's off now doing his training in South Africa, I think until his first race in Oman. I'll be here for most of January, but we're racing together in Tirreno, in March. I look forward to that. We spent so much time apart last year. We raced in Oman and didn't see each other for so long afterwards. I think that, in its self, leaves a bit of a gap really.”