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Froome admits he considered attacking Wiggins at 2012 Tour de France

Previous Vuelta doubts saw Froome consider his own position at 2012 Tour

Joe Robinson
9 Apr 2019

Chris Froome has admitted he contemplated attacking teammate Bradley Wiggins while acting as a domestique at the 2012 Tour de France.

Wiggins went on to make history by becoming the first Briton ever to win the yellow jersey that year with Froome eventually finishing in second, 3 minutes 21 seconds down on Wiggins. 

However, talking on former Formula One driver Nico Rosberg's Beyond Victory podcast, Froome admitted that he struggled to have faith in Wiggins delivering Tour success following his capitulation at the Vuelta a Espana the year before.

Wiggins lost the lead of the 2011 Vuelta on Stage 15 after being dropped on the Angliru climb. Froome was then instructed to ride for himself by Team Sky although it was all too late as he eventually lost the race by 13 seconds to Juan Jose Cobo.

These doubts led Froome to lack trust in team leader Wiggins in 2012, as he has since admitted.

'The difficult part for me was trusting him as the leader, given that in the last big race, the Vuelta a España, I’d gone there to support him and he fell apart in the last few days.

'The team turned to me and said: "right now you have to try and win it". Going into the Tour de France I had this in my mind. I was thinking ‘I’m doing a job for this guy, but if he falls apart in the last few days I need to be in the position to take over again.

'There were definitely a couple of moments where I thought ‘right I’m going to go for it now.''

Froome's comments are likely in reference to Stage 11 of that race. Climbing the summit finish to La Toussuire, Wiggins found himself dropped by domestique Froome and in trouble of blowing up before the finish.

Eventually, Froome sits up to let Wiggins regain his wheel before both reached the stage finish alongside biggest rival Vincenzo Nibali who sat third on GC at the time.

It's believed that this attack from Froome caused infighting between the team and forced lead sport director Sean Yates into the role of both peace-maker and team dictator as he looked to assure Wiggins of his team leader status while also making sure Froome would follow team orders.

In the same interview, Froome seems to recognise these actions of naive while admitting sacrificing his own chances of victory in 2012 were just part and parcel of professional sport.

'I was also quite young at that time. I had more Tours to come. He was at the peak of his career, that was his year,' said Froome.

'Being part of a team you have to make sacrifices here and there. That was a sacrifice for me. I don’t regret it, that’s sport.'

Froome did not have to wait too long for his own opportunities. Seven years on from the 2012 Tour, Froome has four of his own yellow jerseys alongside a Giro d'Italia and Vuelta title making him the seventh most successful Grand Tour rider of all time.

Froome will also look to make history as he returns to the Tour de France this summer in search of a record-equalling fifth title.