Team Sky member Chris Froome has been speaking to L'Equipe, France's leading daily sport newspaper, about his struggles this season and what he sees ahead for his cycling career. Typically honest but quite negative, Wiggins has clearly seen his career take something of a step back this year with colleague Chris Froome being chosen to be Sky's lead rider for the Tour de France and going on to win the event.
Wiggins often seems like he wants people to take a look inside his head and this interview is another one which leaves as many questions as it provides answers. On the Giro, Wiggins said "At the Giro, I had the form, but not the commitment. Mentally, I wasn't there, I held back on the descents, I didn't really want to risk everything. I wondered what I was doing there. And many other things were happening behind the scenes, it didn't help."
L'Equipe then ask Wiggins what were these other things going around his head in May and he simply replies "Things that I don't really want to talk about... At the time, I was tired of the debate (with Chris Froome) around the leadership of the Tour de France. The turning point was not to do the Tour, it's the best thing that could have happened to me."
Such is the negative attitude of Wiggins in the interview, L'Equipe go as far as asking if he'd considered giving up cycling and he denies this but says he isn't sure why he felt so bad in June, having to watch Froome win the Tour de France. He explains that there are more important things than that and he's already won it, so he's always got that.
On Froome and future Grand Tours, Wiggins said "He won the Tour this year, so this is his place now, and it would be wrong of me to try to take away that. The way he ran this year, he could win the next three or four seasons."
L'Equipe ask Wiggins if he'll be racing the Tour next year and he says he doesn't know but he couldn't be more negative toward the prospect if he tried. it could be that Wiggins is preparing his ground because he knows Froome will be chosen as the lead rider and perhaps he wants to pull out of the race again. He said he wouldn't be sad if he didn't take part in 2014.
"Not really (laughs). I love the Tour, but I don't underestimate what it took to achieve the win. And even on the Tour itself, I hadn't really enjoyed it, there was a lot of pressure. I think Chris saw it this year with constant questions about doping. The general atmosphere of the Tour was bad, especially that toward Sky. People like Vasseur (commenting on France Télévisions) have fed this hatred a bit. I'm not at all envious of Chris having to do all this... it ends like this year with leadership battles, it becomes nauseating, it starts to affect other people .... When it's like this, I prefer to stand back."
On that one interview it would be very hard to imagine Wiggins taking part in next year's Tour de France, but he has done others where he's sounded much more keen. It could just be his mood at the time of the interview, or perhaps he's waiting for people to try their best to convince him that he must race.
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