Wiggins 'to miss Tour de France' as Froome picks his Sky riders
2012 champion Bradley Wiggins is criticised by Froome in his forthcoming autobiography
The Tour de France starts in Yorkshire in just over a month, but will Bradley Wiggins be part of the race? Speculation is growing that the 2012 winner may not be selected by Team Sky after he was left out of the the squad for the Criterium du Dauphine, which will be led by 2013 Tour winner Chris Froome.
The two men have had what The Guardian calls a "fraught" relationship since they fell out in the 2012 Tour, during which Froome acted as support rider to Wiggins.
"Despite the fact that both men claim to have made up, the two have not ridden together all year," reports the Daily Telegraph. Instead of riding in the prestigious Criterium – an eight-stage race in south eastern France – with the rest of Sky's heavyweight riders, Wiggins will compete in the Tour de Switzerland.
The pair have been at different training camps in the build-up to this summer's races and Wiggins, who says he is happy to act as a support rider for Froome, did not join Froome when he visited Yorkshire last week.
"Froome's decision to publish his autobiography one month before this year's Tour begins has added a layer of intrigue to the speculation," adds the Daily Telegraph. It says extracts from his book, The Climb, serialised in the Sunday Times, highlight "the paranoia and mistrust" between the men during the 2012 Tour. Froome accuses Wiggins of wearing a "gruff geezer cloak" and of being "arrogant".
The paper adds that if Sky do leave Wiggins out it will look as if Froome has "requested his absence", and would prove unpopular with fans who want to see the first two British riders to win the Tour ride together in England.
On the other hand, picking Wiggins could destabilise the squad, and The Guardian reports that Froome, who will have a say in the team selection, would prefer Australian Richie Porte as his number two.