Bradley Wiggins says Chris Froome ‘warrants a bit more respect’ 

The first British Tour de France winner shares his thoughts on Froome’s early-season form

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Sir Bradley Wiggins says Chris Froome “warrants a bit more respect” as he continues his comeback from career-threatening injuries.

Froome, now racing for Israel Start-Up Nation, has been racing and training towards his goal of winning a fifth Tour de France title, having returned from a serious broken leg in the 2019 season.

Following is awful crash in the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné, Froome returned to racing last season before switching teams from Ineos Grenadiers in 2021. 

This year, Froome has raced the UAE Tour and the Volta a Catalunya, but has not yet shown signs of having Tour-winning form. 

In the latest episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show Podcast, hosted by Eurosport, Froome’s former team-mate and Tour de France winner Wiggins said: “I wouldn’t say I fear for him, but with every week that goes by, and every race that goes by, it’s becoming less likely that we’re going to see a Chris Froome at this year’s Tour de France that is capable of winning in the old manner.

“I do think he warrants a bit more respect. Let’s give him a break, because he’s come back from something - if anything we should celebrate.

“It’s good to see him back in the peloton.” 

After returning to racing in 2020, Froome then rode his first Grand Tour since his 2019 crash, finishing 98th in the Vuelta a España. 

Since then, Froome underwent an intensive training programme in California during the winter and now has 14 race days under his belt this season.

But his best result was 22nd place on stage four of the UAE Tour, while he never finished better than 51st in the Volta a Catalunya, where his old team Ineos dominated the standings with Adam Yates taking victory, while Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas finished second and third overall. 

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Wiggins added: "It must be a strange feeling for him being on the receiving end of perhaps an even stronger unit of Ineos than when he was there. 

“I thought the Vuelta last year was a really good step up the ladder in terms of getting back to the old Chris Froome. I thought he might have been a little bit further ahead of where he’s at, certainly a top-10 performance [in Catalunya] around that Hugh Carthy sort of region.”