California kisses but no TDF ride.
Bradley Wiggins’ quotes today about not being selected for the 2014 Tour de France make you question what Sky team boss David Brailsford was telling the media and what he had actually already decided.
Everyone is familiar with the backstory — Wiggins was higlyh vocal about wanting to ride his final Tour. After a convincing win in the Tour of California — including a dominant time trial performance — Wiggins built a strong argument for making the roster despite the misgivings of team captain Chris Froome.
Brailsford continued to tell the press as late as June 8th that the team hadn’t been selected yet. However, Wiggins clearly has a different recollection of the events and timing.
“I could see what was happening. I knew that when I came back from California I wasn’t doing the Tour. I was told I wasn’t doing the Tour,” he recounted to cyclingnews. “The team wanted me to go to Suisse but I asked them to make it public that I wasn’t doing the Tour because I was worried that the team were going to let me fall on my arse but I thought that someone had to tell the world I wasn’t doing the race.”
The Tour of California ended on May 18th. Do the math and it seems that Brailsford had his mind made up that Wiggins wasn’t going to Yorkshire for Le Grand Départ in late May. Meanwhile he was telling journalists that the decision was still up in the air.
Here’s a selection of Brailsford quotes on the subject:
May 29th (road.cc)
“It’s not just about Brad, or Chris,” said Brailsford, who was speaking at the launch of the Pinarello Dogma F8, Team Sky’s new bike designed by the Italian manufacturer, Jaguar and the British squad. “There’s a whole team. The team we choose will ultimately be the one that we feel will be the most cohesive and fit for the opportunity.”
“Both of these races will form part of our selection for the Tour,” he added. “We have to name 13 riders in a long list during June and we’ll do that from across the squad, including riders at the Route du Sud, not only those in the Dauphine and Tour de Suisse groups.”
“Despite the impression that might have been created, the team for the Tour is not yet finalised. I will be the one making the decision on who is in the team,” Brailsford said.