Sir Bradley Wiggins has hinted he may never ride the Tour de France again as he appeared to cede Team Sky’s leadership battle to Chris Froome.
Wiggins will not defend his Tour title this summer after suffering a knee injury in the wake of the chest infection which ended his Giro d’Italia hopes.
That has cleared the road for Froome, 28, to go into this year’s Tour as Team Sky’s unquestioned leader and the clear favourite to win the race, while the 33-year-old Wiggins turns his attentions elsewhere.
“For me it was always about winning the Tour,” said Wiggins. “I’ve done that. If I’m honest I don’t think I’m prepared to make those sacrifices again that I made last year, with my family and so on. I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved. I’m incredibly happy with that. If I do anything else after this it will be stuff I want to do, stuff that I’m willing to train hard and sacrifice for really. For me it was always about winning the Tour, that was a huge thing for me, a huge journey; I’ve been doing that four years. I don’t know if I’d want to go through all that again to be honest. I’ve always had other goals and there are other things I’d like to try and do.”
Wiggins prioritised the Giro d’Italia this year but a chest infection put paid to his hopes in an event hampered by bad weather. His comments yesterday also cast doubt on whether he would attempt that event again, or cycling’s other Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana.
Wiggins is now expected to make his return to competition in the Tour of Poland in late July with events including September’s Tour of Britain also on the horizon. “That’s a race I’ve always wanted to do well in,” he said of the British event. “It’s getting bigger every year and in terms of profile in this country it’s a nice thing to do well in.”
He will also aim to take part in the world championships at the end of the season. “The Worlds was always a focus and if anything this gives me a better opportunity to focus on it,” he said.