Froome is 100% Tour de France captain. For now.
Chris Froome is missing the addendum, the proviso, the kicker, the asterisk with the fine print hidden below.
Currently riding the Tour of Romandie, Froome again reiterated that he and not last year’s winner Bradley Wiggins, will be the Sky boss at the Tour de France.
“I’m 100 per cent the leader, that hasn’t changed since January,” Froome told Sky Sports.
And he is absolutely correct in that statement — that is the plan that team manager David Brailsford and coach Tim Kerrison have drawn up. It looks fabulous on paper, strategically mapped out, ducks in row, variables slapped into firm order.
Yes, Chris Froome, the man who almost maybe intentionally accelerated away from team captain Wiggins on the La Toussuire climb during stage eight, is indisputably the man this time around France.
There is a clear and well-defined division of labor at Sky: Wiggins will tackle the Giro d’Italia and then arrive in Corsica for the grand depart to help Froome win the Tour de France. Happy endings, rule Brittania, Froome knighted.
The plan is chiseled in stone. Froome is 100% the number one, undisputed leader of the Team Sky tour squad.
That is, until he isn’t.
For whatever reason, Wiggins has been running a psychological game on Froome since the Tour ended. He wants another crack, he doesn’t, Froomey is the captain, two captains are better, I love the history of the Giro, I want another Tour victory, two grand tours is too much, no, I can win two grand tours.
Wiggo has tweaked Froome whenever he gets the itch and the underlying message is always the same: if he feels good in France, he might want another maillot jaune and Froome will just have to wait another year. And if Froome falters for even a moment, shows any sign of weakness, then Wiggins is taking over the show.
For Froome, things could be bad news no matter what the outcome in italy. Wiggins wins Giro and wants a truly historic double or Wiggins loses and arrives in France in an angry mood and hungry for redemption.
Now maybe Wiggins is running a little Bernard Hinault game just for grins or he really feels there’s no reason he shouldn’t be captain again. As his wife was quoted once, Bradley is a fabulous and wonderful husband and father but “as a bike racer, he’s a bit of a twat.”
Now, personally, we love Wiggins’ style, his excellent sense of humor, his musical taste and his impeccable French. But it’s becoming clear that Team Sky, for all their tight control, can’t seem to reign in Wiggins and stop him from undermining Froome’s build-up for Le Tour.
For now, Froome is 100% the Sky captain for the Tour de France but there’s some disturbing fine print: Bradley Wiggins.