“Sky can of course do whatever they want, but I strongly feel that it is a huge mistake if they do not have Wiggins,” Riis told Danish television channel TV2.
Wiggins had said earlier this season that he would be willing to ride for his teammate Chris Froome as he aims to defend his Tour title. However, he told the BBC earlier this month that he would not form part of the nine-man team.
The relationship between Wiggins and his former super-domestique has been a well covered topic. The duo has not raced together for Team Sky since the Tour of Oman at the beginning of 2013. In fact, Froome and Wiggins have hardly seen each other since Wiggins won his Tour title, aside from at winter training camps. Riis believes that the team could have handled the situation between its two leaders better.
“First of all, I would like to say that Sky is not my team, fortunately,” said Riis. “There's no doubt that I would have taken a different approach. It's a bit sad to see that it would take the turn and let it go that far. It would certainly not be acceptable on my team."
Heading into the Tour de France in two weeks time, Riis is confident about his own team’s chances. Alberto Contador will lead the team, as he aims to derail Team Sky’s dominance at the race. Contador recently finished second at the Critérium du Dauphiné, while Froome struggled in the latter stages.
Riis says that he’s not seen Contador as strong, since he joined the team in 2011. “I have not seen Contador better with us. Whether he has been better than that, I could not comment on, but while he has been with us, there is no doubt that it is the strongest I've seen him.”