Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) has revealed he may not attempt to win the Tour de France again – but will instead pursue other titles to add to his already glittering palmares.
The reigning Tour champion, who became the first Briton to win the race last July, will not defend his title in this year’s race. Instead, Chris Froome will start as Team Sky leader and favourite to win the 100th edition of the Tour.
Now Wiggins, who has previously hinted he would like to win Paris-Roubaix, has said he is not willing to make the sacrifices required to win another Tour title and is more likely to pursue other goals.
“For me it was always about winning the Tour,” Wiggins told The Guardian. “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.”
Having won the Tour de France in 2012 – a year in which the 33-year-old also won Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Criterium du Dauphine and the Olympic time trial – Wiggins initially made the Giro d’Italia his primary target in 2013.
However, prior to the Giro, Wiggins suggested he would try and win both the Italian Grand Tour and a second Tour de France title, prompting Team Sky chief David Brailsford to restate Chris Froome’s position as leader for La Grande Boucle.
Wiggins’ attempt at winning the Giro was scuppered by bade weather, illness and a knee injury which also ruled him out of Tour de France selection, and Wiggins now admits Froome is the team’s natural leader for the race.
“Chris has really stepped up, he’s delivered now and he looks like he’s really going to be there for a few years to win a few Tours maybe,” added Wiggins.
“There has been a natural selection this year through Chris’s performances and my performances that he warrants being the team leader; and if he wins the Tour, that continues through to next year. I can live with that. I didn’t go to the altitude camp before the Giro because I wanted to be with my family; the kids are getting older and I like watching [my son] Ben play rugby and other things.”
Wiggins is now back in training and will return to the peloton at the Tour of Poland on July 27-August 3, before targeting the Tour of Britain (September 15-22) and world championship time trial in Florence on September 25, where Wiggins will look to upgrade the silver medal won in 2011.
“That’s a race I’ve always wanted to do well in,” said Wiggins of the Tour of Britain, which this year has an individual time trial. “It’s getting bigger every year and in terms of profile in this country it’s a nice thing to do well in.”
“The worlds was always a focus and if anything this gives me a better opportunity to focus on it. Doing the Giro and the Tour it was always a matter of how much would be left because there is an eight-week period from the end of the Tour to the worlds which is a long time.
“This has given me time to stop after the Giro and I’ve got a nice chunk of time to get ready for the worlds.”