If David Brailsford has had a tough couple of months, then they are about to get even tougher as Bradley Wiggins left nobody in doubt that he wants not only to ride the Tour, but to ride it as leader of Team Sky. Wiggins U-Turn comes after months of speculation that he will focus on the Giro and Froome will head to the Tour de France in 2013 as team leader - which David Brailsford had already more than hinted at. Here's what Bradley Wiggins had to say in an interview with BBC Radio 5Live today...
"I'm probably going to try and win a second Tour de France, so I don't know, maybe we'll have two leaders. My goal is to win the Tour next year. Whether that is realised or not, I don't know really." Wiggins told the BBC.
Wiggins did however concede: "Whatever the team strategy is, I'll support that, otherwise you don't take the start line because there will be someone else who is willing to fulfil that job. It's a case of doing what's asked of you on the day, whatever that decision is."
This latest interview is the most forthright that Wiggins has been about his plans for 2013 though its clear he might not have a say in all of those plans. There's also a chance that these latest comments are designed to act as a smokescreen in Sky's long-term tactics. Going to the Tour without naming a 'single' team leader can cause confusion amongst the rest of the teams, it means they have to keep their guard up and have their eyes firmly fixed on two different riders from the same team, then Sky can play their true hand later on in the race and potentially leave the other favourites for dead - or at least that's how it could work in an ideal world.
There is another way of looking at this and that is to just simply take it at face value. Wiggins does like to cause a bit of a stir and often makes unexpected, off the cuff remarks. He's faced a bit of criticism for not looking bothered about defending his Tour title too, to not ride as team leader some may turn their noses up - to not ride at all is practically a crime for some cycling fans and this could just be a reaction to that.
Of course we are all hoping for the third option - Remember that infamous 1989 Tour de France with Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond? Well, this could be round 2...
If you would like to listen to the full 5Live interview here is the link.