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Wiggins: Froome the stronger rider

ESPN staff
July 27, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Sir Bradley Wiggins crossed the line nine minutes 13 seconds off the lead group © Getty Images
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Sir Bradley Wiggins has praised Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome over his Tour de France victory, but admitted he could not watch it on television.

Wiggins missed the chance to defend his title at the 100th edition of the race due to injury, and had pulled out of the Giro D'Italia in May because of illness.

The Brit returned to the saddle on Saturday, where he finished nine minutes and 13 seconds off the leading group in the opening stage of the Tour of Poland.

Italian Diego Ulissi pipped Darwin Atapuma and Rafal Majka in a sprint to the finish of the 184.5km ride to Madonna di Campiglio, with Wiggins finishing alongside team-mate Ben Swift further down the field.

Following the ride, Wiggins took time to praise Froome's efforts and admitted Le Tour winner was the better rider over mountains.

"It was a great team [Sky] performance, a great individual performance and they deserved everything they got," Wiggins said. "Chris' performance was dominant. I've said before he's probably best climber in the world.

"I've never been that good a climber. I can climb but my speciality is the time trial and working back from that. A Tour like this year, Chris is the stronger rider."

Wiggins also revealed he could not watch the Tour through frustration of not competing, but had kept an eye on how his team-mates were doing.

"I didn't watch, I couldn't watch," Wiggins said. "I would have loved to have been there so it was hard to watch. I focused on the positives rather than sitting watching telly depressed.

"I watched the end of the first stage when I heard the bus knocked the finish down, but otherwise I just followed what the guys did from afar."

Wiggins also confirmed he will miss the Tour of Spain in order to target the time trial title at the World Championships in September.

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