British Tour de France hopeful Bradley Wiggins has responded to David Millar's scathing criticism of him, his Sky team and his leadership skills in the interview published by The Guardian yesterday.
"Last season was just one thing after another," explains the 31-year-old in a report on the MailOnline website. "I came into the team late, not wanting to lead people I didn't really know. Withdrawing into myself as an individual leading this team, I didn't appreciate the knock-on effect on everyone around me. It's a big team as well - not just three other members of a team pursuit but 26 riders plus 30-odd staff. This year has been about giving back to guys."
Millar didn't pull his punches in the Guardian, saying that Wiggins "has no leadership skills" and that Team Sky were "big-headed and disrespectful" in last year's tour. Meanwhile, he praised Mark Cavendish who, if rumours are to be believed, may be joining Sky next season. "Mark understands the game... [he's] a natural-born leader," he said.
If Wiggins had problems settling into his new role last year - which would also explain his disappointing finish outside the top 20 (he came 4th in 2009) - there is evidence that he's pulled himself together now. Team mates Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift have been vocal in supporting their leader and have vowed to do all they can to help him and the team bring back glory. We'll know if Millar is wrong or if Eiggins has a future as leader of his team in Paris on the 24th of July.