Speculation is rife that 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins will be left out of this year’s race by Team Sky after failing to make their Criterium du Dauphine line-up.
The race is seen as the number one warm-up event for Le Tour and Chris Froome, who is the 5/6 favourite for back-to-back Tour de France wins, has been named as the Team Sky’s leader as he bids to defend the crown he won last year.
Olympic gold medallist Wiggins will lead Team Sky’s riders at the Tour of Switzerland and the team’s principal Dave Brailsford has played down the significance of both selections.
“Both races will form our selection for the Tour,” said Brailsford.
“Both the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de Suisse are World Tour events and we are looking to perform in both races,” the Team Sky principal added.
“Bradley heads to Switzerland with a strong team after a great win in California and we’ve got the right group for the Dauphine, especially considering the nature of the course.”
It remains to be seen whether the Tour de France favourite and Wiggins, who has had a fractious relationship with the 29-year-old since 2012, will ride in support of his team-mate when the race begins in Yorkshire on July 5.
The Kenyan-born star has hinted Richie Porte, who is 40/1 to win Le Tour, could be a better alternative to finish on the podium for this year’s race than the first ever British winner of Le Tour.
Wiggins, who has said he will ride in support of Froome, is 25/1 for a second Tour de France success and the Tour of California winner is still hopeful of making the nine rider team.
And with the likes of Alberto Contador (2/1), Vincenzo Nibali (7/1) and Alejandro Valverde (16/1) it could prove to be a mistake if Froome overlooks his long-time rival for a supporting role in the world’s biggest cycling road race.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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