In a surprising holiday faux pas, Team Sky sent a holiday card to fans which appears to show Chris Froome dropping Wiggins on a snowy climb in the mountains.
The artful illustration done in white and blue shows a line of Sky riders climbing up past snowy trees made of bike decorations. However, the rider in front has opened a significant gap on his teammates.
The unfortunate allusion to Froome dropping Sir Brad on the Col de la Croix in the 2012 Tour de France was hard to miss and is sure to reopen wounds that were finally beginning to heal.
Sky graphics designer Nigel Picwither was quick to deny the holiday image had anything to do with the contentious “attack” that Froome supposedly launched against team orders.
“This is nonsense, really, where do you people dream this up? It’s a holiday card with riders in the snow — that’s all it is,” said Picwither. “Yeah, there’s a gap, sure, but that’s to make the picture more visually interesting. How can you anyone say that’s Chris in front and Brad in back?”
Reached for comment, former Sky DS Sean Yates was appalled. “That was really, really cold. I mean, what’s Brad supposed to think now? It’s the holidays for godsakes,” said Yates. “If I’m Brad, I’m bloody pissed.”
Just weeks ago at the first team camp in Mallorca, Froome had told the assembled media that he and Wiggins were now “in a good place.” Despite recent news that Wiggins had not paid Froome his Tour de France bonus for 14 months, the two appeared to have mended fences.
That may all change with a Sky holiday card that serves as a cold reminder to Wiggins that the spirit of giving wasn’t in evidence in the Tour. According to one insider, Sky designers are now moving the first rider closer to the second, closing the contentious gap and removing any confusion about team harmony.