Chris Froome has said he struggled to trust Team Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins during the 2012 Tour de France.
Wiggns became the first Briton to take home the yellow jersey as Team Sky’s leader, while Froome was a key component of the success as he claimed second place in Paris, some three minutes and 21 seconds off his compatriot.
Froome’s distrust of Wiggins, he has said, were sown by events a year earlier at the Vuelta a Espana, where Spain’s Juan Jose Cobo emerged victorious.
Both Froome and Wiggins finished on the podium, in second and third place respectively, with Froome being denied victory by a margin of just 13 seconds.
Chris Froome with Sir Bradley Wiggins in his slipstream during the 2012 Tour–Getty Images
Speaking to Nico Rosberg on Beyond Victory, the retired Formula One driver’s podcast, the 33-year-old said: “There were definitely a couple of moments where I thought ‘right I’m going to go for it now.’
“But the team orders and the guys calling the shots in the car were straight onto me and called me back.”
Speculation over a rift between the pair escalated during stage 11 of the 2012 Tour when Wiggins appeared to be attacked by Froome on La Toussuire.
Having missed out on the yellow jersey after being issued team instructions to back down from challenging Wiggins, Froome admits his mind was full of reservations about working with his team-mate at a time when he was 27 – five years Wiggins’ junior. The 2018 Giro d’Italia champion added:
” 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.’”