“The difficult part for me was trusting him [Wiggins] as leader,” Froome admitted. “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.’”
Chris was undoubtedly in a better form back then than Wiggins. During stage 11, on La Toussuire, Froome appeared to have thrown away all caution and attack. He was ordered back by the team and eventually listened. He finished second in the GC, 3:21 behind Wiggo.
“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. [Wiggins] has never won the Tour de France at that time. Okay I’d never won it either, but there were a lot of reservations in my mind.”
“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. 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 won his first Tour the following year. He fell short of the record-equalling fifth title last year, but will be back this year to finish what he started.