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Dropping Wiggins was right move, insists Brailsford

ESPN staff
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Sir Dave Brailsford has no regrets over the decision © Getty Images
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Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford has defended his decision to leave Sir Bradley Wiggins out of the line-up for this year's Tour de France after Chris Froome withdrew from the event.

Defending champion Froome retired from the Tour de France on Wednesday after he suffered his third crash in the space of two days. Richie Porte will now take over as leader of Team Sky as they aim to deliver a third consecutive yellow jersey.

Wiggins backs Froome to bounce back

  • Sir Bradley Wiggins believes Chris Froome will come back stronger after he was forced to withdraw from the Tour de France.
  • Wiggins crashed out of the 2011 staging of the event with a broken collarbone but went on to triumph a year later.
  • "It's a tough day. I never like to see a great racer go down but Chris will be back," Wiggins said.
  • "Today has showed how hard it is to win the Tour de France, but the team will have prepared for this and they'll deal with it."
  • Alberto Contador said he was "sorry" to see Froome out of the Tour. "Froome was the number-one favorite to get the victory and is now out of the race," he said.
  • "Of course I will feel sorry for him because preparing for the Tour needs months of physical and psychological work and a series of sacrifices on the home front.
  • "I'm sorry for him and for the race because it would have been a great spectacle in the mountains."

"It wasn't a mistake," Brailsford said when asked about the omission of Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion who could have stood in for Froome.

"I have no regrets - we picked a team to win, we believed Chris could win. We picked the team based on everything that we knew at the time. Chris was the best rider in the team to try and win the Tour.

"Chris was in great form, better even than last year," Brailsford added. "I know Bradley was ninth in Paris-Roubaix, but this is the Tour de France, not Paris-Roubaix."

At the beginning of June, Wiggins told the BBC that he would not be competing at this year's Tour de France despite winning in California - and revealed he was likely to leave Team Sky when his contract expires at the end of 2014.

When confirming Team Sky's line-up for Le Tour, Brailsford insisted Wiggins has a future with the team. However, with the relationship between Wiggins and Froome still frosty, a parting appears the most likely outcome.

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