It all seemed so simple back in November. Brad was going to aim for the Giro while Chris was going to lead the mountainous charge for the Tour.
Then came the last week of April, 2013 and it all kicked off with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome carving out, albeit unintentionally, an image of themselves as cycling’s answer to F1’s Webber and Vettel.
Froome is visibly upset by the suggestion that the best laid plans are not in fact the plans at all and is desperately seeking public assurances from Team Sky that they are placing their eggs in his basket come July.
This Saturday coming marks the beginning of the Giro D’Italia and Bradley Wiggins has stated that his personal goal is to not only be the first British rider to win the Giro but also to join the group of a select few that have won the Giro D’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year.
It’s an achievement, the size of which is only matched by Bradley’s ego.
And therein lies the problem, it’s a battle of egos. I have to say that during last year’s Tour I couldn’t make up my mind whether or not I liked Wiggo, he smacked of an arrogance that was overly self-assured and his cockiness seemed to know no bounds.
There were times when I felt sorry for Froomey who seemed to be doing all the donkey work as it were. I wondered whether or not the Sky team might boldly change tack and give Froome the green light to attack.
At one point Froome took the initiative himself leaving Brad to flounder before Team Sky reeled him back in to do the job he was there to do.
And then Brad began to grow on me, only weeks before he would endear himself to the entire Great British public. And then it truly did become his year – what a whirlwind, the Olympics, a Knighthood, Sports Personality of the Year, superstardom. And he took to it like the proverbial duck to water. So is it any surprise that he wants to let that go?
Already he’s begun to fade from the daily spotlight. Until last week I hadn’t heard much about him at all – and now we’re well and truly moving into the business end of the season and he wants to make sure we remember who Sir Bradley Wiggins is. That ego needs to be fed and this is what’s starting to happen now.
Chris Froome also has a large ego, it’s no secret that he felt that he carried Wiggo to victory last year and then had to take the back seat and watch the adulation and plaudits go to the guy who he feels was really second best.
This one is going to run and run and until Dave Brailsford and Team Sky make the official team position abundantly clear then we can expect to see more verbal volleys in the days and weeks ahead.
In the meantime I’m looking forward to the Giro and I wish Wiggo well. I’ve actually become quite the fan and if I’m being honest I hope he does get the green light to go and do the double.
image: © robkingcameraman