Could a storm be brewing? Bradley Wiggins, very much man of the year in 2012, has again stated his intention of defending his historic Tour de France title, whilst team mate Chris Froome – hot off his win of the Tour de Romandie – insists he will be the man to lead out the squad come June 29, commenting, ‘I have been reassured by the management at Team Sky that I have their full backing.’ Wiggins had initially been expected to concentrate his efforts on the Giro d’Italia, which starts this Saturday (May 4), but has told reporters he will be looking for a double victory rather than playing any supporting role.
Kenya-born Froome, runner-up to Wiggins at last year’s TdF, insists that, ‘at no time has the leadership of the Tour (de France) team been in question’, yet Team Sky Principal, Sir David Brailsford, continues to maintain that a final decision is unlikely to be made until just days before the start.
In response to Brailsford’s pragmatic ‘I think whoever is in the best shape should be really’ pronouncement, Froome released a statement saying, ‘There has been much speculation regarding the leadership for Team Sky at the Tour de France this year. I have made it clear that winning the Tour would be my main objective for 2013… Attempting to win the Tour de France, is a massive undertaking and will take total commitment from each and every team member.’ Adding the rather pointed (barbed?) conclusion, ‘I have no doubt that the strongest and most willing riders will be there to support me.’
Inter-team rivalry rarely ends well; without resolution the situation could easily result in two losers, not one clear winner…