Sir Bradley Wiggins buries hatchet with Chris Froome and aims to be Tour Gladiator

 

alcudia, spain

Sir Bradley Wiggins said here in Mallorca that any underlying tensions between himself and Sky team-mate Chris Froome were a thing of the past, that he is keenly anticipating racing alongside the 2013 Tour de France winner this year – and that watching Gladiator this winter has helped him realise what his role in the team should be.

"Me and Chris talked a lot here in December and it was the first time we had been able to do that properly since the Tour of Oman last February, I feel very positive about our relationship and I'm looking forward to racing with him," Wiggins said.

The Sky rider said that while he expects Froome to dominate the Tour "for several years to come," his own role come July will be partly to "take the pressure off Chris" – but as much off the bike as on it.

"As a Tour winner with credibility and no skeletons in the closet, people look up to you because of what you achieved one summer," the 2012 Tour winner said.

"That is quite rare, especially within cycling, there's not many of us Tour winners that haven't got a [doping] history, we're part of a very small club, and we've got responsibility to preach that [message of clean cycling] to the world."

Wiggins pointed out that in the Tour last year, Froome had had a tough time battling the perpetual scepticism surrounding any outstanding achievements in cycling, but that he could help ease some of that tension.

"I was watching Gladiator last month. 'If you win the crowd you win your freedom', [is what the gladiators say in the film] and thought it was like that for me in the Tour two years ago. I won my freedom" – in terms of succeeding in convincing people there was no reason for suspicion of his win – "but the opposite happened to Chris last year."

Wiggins said the importance of ensuring that people realised that he and Froome were winning the Tour clean was driven home when one of his children was bullied at school over the Lance Armstrong scandal.

"They started asking if his dad had taken drugs too," he said. "It was horrible, we had to change his school."

Asked about the tensions that have existed between Wiggins and Froome in the past, Sky team principal Sir Dave Brailsford insisted: "the reality is that it's no longer a story. Brad is in a good place, he's got his goals and he's working towards them, it'll be good to see how he gets on in the first part of the season."

As for whether Wiggins has adjusted to the concept of not being the sole leader at Sky, Brailsford added: "He has. He's come to terms with his 2012 performances and he's able to see his way forward."

With one-day race Paris-Roubaix as his first big target – known as the "Hell of the North" it culminates with a 60 kilometre slog over huge paving stones in rural France – Brailsford said: "It is a race he's always liked since he was a youngster, he's always felt he's got the physical attributes to do well there. The Classics are a gaping hole in our list of wins and we'd like to try and sort that out."

The Tour de France's first week also features one difficult stage over cobbles but Brailsford says Wiggins is not racing Paris-Roubaix as a trial run. "At the moment it's not part of a Tour strategy, it's part of a Bradley strategy."

Looking in good shape – he spoke after a six-hour, 190km training ride in Mallorca – Wiggins says his condition and morale are as solid as at the start of 2012, by far his most successful year as a road racer.

He said: "The goal is to get back to where I was at the start of that year's season, more than about specific objectives like saying I want to do the Tour. For me it's about hitting the ground running.

"I've never struggled with training but when I got to racing [in 2013] I was going through the motions, which is the complete opposite to where I am now."

Whilst discussions about renewing his contract with Sky, which finishes in 2014, have been shelved until further into the season, he has not ruled out a return to the track for Rio 2016. "Track was where it all started for me back in Sydney in 2000 and Rio will be my last Olympics and to finish my Olympic career there would be great. It's the same as the Tour; I'm not done with that and I'm not done with the Olympics, either."

News
Shoppers at Selfridges department store in central London
news

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL

£39000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML,...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game