Sir Bradley Wiggins is convinced missing this year’s Tour de France has worked out for the best.
Wiggins was unable to defend the title he won in 2012 after his preparations were disrupted by a knee injury and a chest infection.
At the time, withdrawing was a bitter blow coming soon after he was forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia due to illness. But having now had time to recover, Wiggins believes he is in better shape ahead of the upcoming challenges of the Tour of Britain and the World Championships in Florence next month.
Wiggins said: “At the time it was very frustrating and disappointing but not going to the Tour was probably the best thing that has happened to me.
“In some ways it has been a bit of a wake-up call, a realisation. You are reminded things can’t go well all the time. When you know the bad points you really appreciate the good times.
“But I’m really good now, I’m back to where I was back in May. It is all looking good for the next couple of months – Tour of Britain, World Championships.”
The 100th edition of cycling’s blue riband event was won in Wiggins’ absence in impressive fashion by his Team Sky colleague Chris Froome.
In the build-up to the event there had been much debate over who should have been the team’s lead rider.
Wiggins accepts there can no longer be any doubt of Froome’s status as number one, even if he himself returns to the Tour next summer. The 33-year-old said: “He went into it undoubtedly as the favourite.
“Having seen what he did in the races before and leading up to the Tour, it was a case of doing what he’d been doing all year. He did that and it was incredible. If anything it makes it his place now. I think he has earned the right to lead the team again next year and do it all again.
“I would have loved to have been there and done a job but it wasn’t to be. Maybe that is next year.
“I would love to be back but unfortunately it is not my decision. Hopefully I will get picked and I can do a job for the team, whatever they ask.”
Wiggins made a successful competitive return to the saddle earlier this month by winning the time trial at the Tour of Poland.
He said: “That’ll keep the team off my back for a bit! It was nice to be back racing with the team and back to winning. Now everything is towards the World Championships.”