Sir Bradley Wiggins says it will be harder for Chris Froome to win Olympic gold than it was for him four years ago but is still backing the Team Sky man to do so
But while the Rio road race and time trial are a week further apart from the Tour than they were in 2012, Wiggins says that his former Team Sky team-mate has what it takes to retain gold for Great Britain.
Froome will ride the road race on August 6, with a mountainous course suiting the climbers in the peloton, followed by the time trial three days later.
“He can do it definitely, the way he won the Tour, that [form] is not going to go anywhere for two weeks. If anyone can do it, he can do it of all those people there at the Tour,” Wiggins said.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist says the fact that Froome will have to travel to a different continent will make it harder than when Wiggins and co popped back across the Channel after the 2012 Tour.
An undulating 60km time trial route sees Froome enter as favourite for gold, especially with the untimely injury to his main challenger Tom Dumoulin on stage 19 of the Tour.
Froome won the final time trial on stage 18, just as Wiggins did in his victorious 2012 campaign, and Britain’s first Tour de France winner says that will hold Froome in good stead.
“You’re going the through the motions of racing and [in the 2012] Tour in particular I got stronger in that third week and won that last time trial,” Wiggins said.
“I knew that because I won that last time trial by a minute and a half, all I had to do was keep my head on for ten days and do the same performance.
“The power I averaged that day, I knew nothing was going to change in ten days. If I just do that again, I’ll be alright. There weren’t too many challenges for me to overcome other than I couldn’t get down my lane for a couple of days.”
Wiggins himself will be targeting his fifth gold medal in Rio, forming part of the Team Pursuit squad which is looking to take top spot for the third successive time.