(Reuters) - Bradley Wiggins has backed Chris Froome to emulate his 2012 Tour de France and Olympic time trial double success but felt his former Sky team mate’s task is more difficult as next month’s Games are in Rio de Janeiro.
Froome, who will join Wiggins in the Great Britain cycling team, clinched his third Tour de France on Sunday and will now be attempting an unprecedented treble as he also plans to take part in both the time trial and road race at the Rio Games.
Having won a bronze in the time trial at the 2012 London Olympics, the 31-year-old’s hopes of a gold in Rio were boosted when his chief rival, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, fractured his wrist during the Tour de France and is a doubt for the Games.
“I think it’s probably harder for him this time. He has to travel out to a completely different continent whereas we came back home, and that is probably more of a challenge for Chris,” Wiggins told British media.
Wiggins, who is focusing on the track in Rio, added that his performance at the 2012 Tour de France gave him a clear indication that he was primed for glory in London and hoped Froome would be able to build upon a similar platform.
“I knew nothing was going to change in 10 days. There wasn’t too many challenges for me to overcome other than I couldn’t get down my lane (where he lived) for a couple of days,” the 36-year-old said.
“He can do it, definitely, the way he won the Tour, that (form) isn’t going to go anywhere for two weeks. If anyone can do it, he can do it of all those people there at the Tour.”
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien