Sir Dave Brailsford believes fellow knight Sir Bradley Wiggins still has some moments of greatness left as his career comes to a close.
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But the Sky boss admits replacing the 2012 Tour de France winner will be a considerable challenge.
“As soon as you think about trying to replace someone like Bradley, you back yourself into a corner,” Brailsford told Press Association Sport.
“His contribution to this team has been phenomenal, absolutely remarkable.
“We set out to win the Tour with a clean, British rider and that’s what he did.
“He’s an incredible athlete, he’s one of the most versatile athletes the sport has ever seen – he can ride on the track, win time trials, win mountain stages.
“That’s why we all believe he can be a great athlete even as he comes to the end of his career.”