Sir Bradley Wiggins' absence leaves the path clear for Chris Froome to win the Tour de France
The chances of a second British winner in as many years may have been boosted by today's announcement
That’s that, no Sir Brad to defend his historic Tour de France victory. As I type, colleagues in the Independent’s newsroom who I’m sure never used to be interested in cycling are discussing the implications of Wiggins’ withdrawal as if they’d learned Wayne Rooney had broken a metatarsal on the eve of the World Cup.
I exaggerate, but we have our knight in shining Lycra to thank for propelling cycling into the mainstream, making his absence from the Tour due to a knee injury a big blow for British sport.
Team Sky expressed their sadness, too, although the champion’s absence should clear the path for Chris Froome, his teammate and runner-up in last year’s Tour. Competition for the leader’s spot has been occasionally fraught, at one point leading to a barbed exchange between the riders’ wives. Conspiracy theorists will wonder about the potential convenience of Wiggins’ exit.
Whatever, I’ll miss following Wiggins when the Tour starts on 29 June. For Sky and the peloton of sponsors around Sir Bradley, his injury is bad news. But if it in any way boosts the chances that Froome will ride to a second British Tour victory in a row, there’ll be just as good a reason to tune in.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...