Tour de France: Dave Brailsford says Bradley Wiggins would not have replaced Chris Froome
Last Updated: 10/07/14 5:48pm
Sir Dave Brailsford has insisted Sir Bradley Wiggins would not have replaced the injured Chris Froome as Team Sky’s Tour de France leader had he been in this year’s squad.
Froome abandoned the race after crashing twice on a rain-soaked fifth stage on Wednesday and Australian rider Richie Porte will now step up to front Team Sky’s bid for a third consecutive overall victory.
Wiggins, who won the Tour in 2012, was left out of the nine-man team due to the fact that he had not raced or trained with Froome all season.
Brailsford said even if he had been in the squad, Porte would still have been the man to replace Froome, with Welsh rider Geraint Thomas next in the pecking order.
'Fantastic plan B'
The Team Sky principal told Sky Sports News: “We have got a fantastic plan B in Richie, and G [Thomas]. Richie is going ever so well and if Brad had have been here, Richie would have been our plan B and I think people should realise that.
“You make decisions at the moment in time with the best intent and the right thoughts behind it and you stick with it - that’s life.
There is still a long way to go and you have got to be optimistic, you have got to look at the positives and we are very much in the fight.
Sir Dave Brailsford
“I think he [Porte] can go a really, really long way in the race. It’s all still to play for and I think if we are patient, we manage ourselves properly, then we are still very much in the mix.”
In the wake of Froome’s exit from the race, Thomas said it had been a “pretty successful day” after Porte had managed to stay safe on the cobbles and moved up to eighth in the general classification, 1min 54sec behind race leader Vincenzo Nibali.
And despite losing his team leader, Brailsford reiterated that the mood in the Team Sky camp is positive.
He said: “Very optimistic, I must say. I think we are very much still in this race. Everybody is obviously a bit concerned about yesterday, and Richie in particular and G got through it in great shape, and the closer we get to the mountains, the more we are looking forward to it.
“There is still a long way to go and you have got to be optimistic, you have got to look at the positives and we are very much in the fight.”