The news Bradley Wiggins has been ruled out of the Tour de France due to a knee injury is disappointing for at least two reasons. It’s never good when the event is minus its defending titlist.
But the ongoing exchange of opinions between Wiggins and teammate and now solidified Sky team leader Chris Froome was a keen battle of wits that was hard not to like.
Officially, Sky boss Dave Brailsford commented: “With illness, injury and treatment Brad has gone past the point where he can be ready for the Tour. It’s a big loss but, given these circumstances, we won’t consider him for selection.”
Wiggins participation at the Tour of Italy faded after he contracted a chest infection and a knee problem.
Wiggins was scheduled to ride in support Froome in the 100th edition of the Tour de France, beginning June 29 in Corsica on June 29. But Brailsford said a lack of training time meant the Briton would the race.
Wiggins said it was a “huge disappointment not to make the Tour.”
But it’s easy to believe there’s more to the story.
Considering the battle of words between the two riders, it’s not too far-fetched to think Wiggins who ride in support of Froome but not without at least some remaining thoughts of successfully defending his 2012 title.
Of course, it’s different. But the the Wiggins-Froome escapades are reminiscent of battles of Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador, among others double team leaders who’ve compete for top Tour de France honors.
The Tour de France has plenty of sub-plots each year and the Wiggins-Froome battle on and off the bike would have been fun to watch.