Sir Bradley Wiggins says Geraint Thomas is in “a perfect scenario” after signing a three-year contract extension with Team Sky and that the pressure will be off the Tour de France champion next year should four-time winner Chris Froome lead the squad in next year’s race,
Speaking in the latest episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show vodcast on Eurosport, Wiggins – like Thomas and Froome a founder member of Team Sky in 2010 – said he wasn’t surprised that the Welshman had decided to stay put rather than switch teams, with CCC, the new sponsor of BMC Racing from next year, among those keen to secure his signature.
“Why would he [move]?,” Wiggins said. “He’s had all his success at Sky, he’s got the best backing there, they all get paid well, they all get on well, he’s got friends there.
“Geraint’s been in that set up since the start and before that obviously with Rod and everyone at the Academy, before that British Cycling.
“So in some ways it’s a perfect scenario for him because he can sit back now and say ‘Froome’s the leader again next year but I’m here to win if you need me’.
“In some ways it played into his hands this year because he could just take all the pressure off himself, ‘Froome’s still the leader and I’m just pleased to be in this jersey’ and he got a Tour de France win out of it.
“So I think had he moved teams, a team would have paid big money for him to come but they would have expected him to win a second Tour de France for them and go against his team mate in Chris Froome next year.
“We haven’t seen the last of Chris Froome, I think he’ll be back stronger than ever next year,” Wiggins continued.
“The risk of going up against him when you could get paid the same and be in the security of that team, and maybe get an opportunity again, I think it’s a perfect position for him to be in really.”
Reflecting on his own experience after his Tour de France win in 2012, he said: “I had no thought of leaving the team, really.
“It was just a case of, you have your success in that team and part of the reason you have that success is because of the support you get in terms of equipment, they’ve got the trucks, they’ve got the offices, this that and the other they take to races, and Sky’s leading the way in the pro peloton at the moment.
“So to leave that and maybe go down one step on the ladder, it’s like you’re leaving the biggest team to try and do the same thing again with maybe less resource.
“Part of the reason he won was because of the strength of the team as well, so not just Chris Froome but friends of his like Luke Rowe who had such an important role in keeping Geraint in front at the start of the race on the cobbled stages, [Michal] Kwiatkowski who was just phenomenal during the Tour de France, [Egan] Bernal.
“So to leave a squad like that … there aren’t any other squads in the Tour de France that are as strong as Team Sky.
“To then try and repeat that performance when in some ways it was the strength of that team that put you there in the first place, it doesn’t make sense really.
“I’m sure Geraint’s got another Grand Tour win in him somewhere, whether that’s the Tour, the Vuelta, the Giro, remains to be seen,” Wiggins added.
“But he’s had all his success there, they know him inside out, he trusts the team, he’s happy there and I don’t see any reason to have to leave, really.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.