Tour de France 2020

Wiggins may target Tour defense after all

British Tour champ backpedals on BBC Radio, saying he may actually race the Tour and share leadership with Chris Froome

LONDON (AFP) — Bradley Wiggins says he is likely to defend his Tour de France title after all next year despite previously eyeing the Giro d’Italia as his main objective for 2013.

The 32-year-old Olympic time trial gold medalist became the Tour’s first British winner in July, with Sky teammate Chris Froome second. At October’s launch of next summer’s 100th Tour, Wiggins said that the Giro would be his priority, leaving the way clear for Froome to lead Sky’s Tour assault. Sky principal Dave Brailsford later confirmed that Wiggins would most likely target the Giro.

But on Thursday, Wiggins told BBC Radio Five: “I don’t know what the situation is in terms of leadership, as it stands I’m probably going to try and win a second Tour de France.

“I don’t know, maybe we’ll have two leaders, which is more than likely I guess. How that’s going to work with the team? I don’t know, that’s more Dave Brailsford’s problem to worry about.”

He added: “It’s just how we service both mouths. Like I said, that’s more a problem for Dave to figure out, but my goal is to win the Tour next year.

“Whether that is realized or not I don’t know really, we’re still in this planning phase at the moment, deciding each race, what we’re going to do next year, how we are going to go about training to do that.

“Whether I do the Tour of Italy before it, as I’ve said, that is still undecided. All will be revealed in the coming months I guess.”

With a more climber-friendly parcours on tap for July, if Froome is chosen to lead Sky, Wiggins insists he will support his teammate.

“Oh yeah, I wouldn’t be on the startline if not,” he said. “Whatever the team strategy is, we all support that, otherwise you don’t take the startline because there’ll be somebody else that is willing to fulfill that job.

“It’s a case of ‘you do what’s asked of you on the day, whatever that decision is.'”

Last month, Wiggins was admitted to hospital after being hit by a car while riding his bike near his family home in Lancashire. He suffered broken ribs and a wrist injury in the accident in which he was thrown from his bike by a car pulling out of a petrol station.