Wiggins ready to be a team player

Bradley Wiggins says he will help Chris Froome

Bradley Wiggins says he will help Chris Froome

First published in National Sport News © by

Sir Bradley Wiggins is ready to help team-mate Chris Froome in his attempt to retain his Tour de France title, saying he will not "sulk" about taking second billing after rediscovering his love for cycling.

With Froome as his chief lieutenant, Wiggins became the first Briton to win the world's greatest road race two years ago, and then followed it up with Olympic gold.

His fortunes were reversed in 2013, though, as he missed out through a knee injury and had to watch Team Sky colleague Froome take his place at the top of the podium.

Rumours of unrest between the pair never went away amid a suspected battle for top ranking within the squad, but Wiggins is now ready to assist Froome, rather than go for glory himself.

The 33-year-old has conceded how tough a year 2013 was for him - with injury and the come down from his 2012 highs combining - but he is ready to go again after regaining his appetite for being on his bike.

He told the Guardian: "From the moment I won the Tour in 2012 it was always (seen as) inevitable - 'when are you going to start the preparations for next year?'.

"People would ask but in my head I'd be thinking, hold on a minute, I've only just come to terms with this one. There came a point where it was fight, flight or freeze, so my initial thoughts were, I don't want to ride next year, I need a year off.

"I was quite vulnerable then. There was so much going on. I'd had that injury. I felt quite low. Chris was winning everything. It was such a drastic change from the year before. I'd been knocked off the treadmill - finally.

"But a couple of weeks after I got my knee sorted, came out to Mallorca, started training. I realised when I was out here that I loved training and I loved the sport. When I watched bits of the Tour I realised that I missed it and that I wanted to go back. I'm not done yet."

But while Wiggins has a passion for riding the French mountains again, he does not see himself taking on Froome this summer.

"I think Chris has earned the right to defend the Tour this year and I'd love to go back and play a part in that and not just sulk off and give up because I'm not the leader."

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