Sir Bradley Wiggins tells talkSPORT cycling could suffer if Team Sky folds – ‘We may not see anything like this again’

Sir Bradley Wiggins has told talkSPORT that Team Sky’s departure could have a detrimental effect on cycling and has warned those against the British team to ‘be careful what you wish for’.

The broadcasting giant revealed last week that 2019 would be Team Sky’s final year in competition after deciding to end their involvement in professional cycling.

Team Sky have enjoyed an unprecedented era of British success in the sport – boasting six Tour de France titles in seven years from Wiggins (one), Chris Froome (four) and this year Geraint Thomas (one).

Team Sky celebrate Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France win earlier this year

Team Sky celebrate Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France win earlier this year

Their decision to pull their sponsorship was met with cheers in some quarters – some cycling purists around Europe have been against Sky’s influence on the sport, with the team’s dominance akin to Manchester City’s in English football, feeling money buys success.

But Wiggins, speaking for the first time about his former team’s news, believes the departure of such a big company and financial backer is not good news for the future of cycling.

Great Britian’s most decorated Olympian told Jim White: “People need to be careful what they wish for because if Sky go now the sport will be worse off for it.

Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour de France in 2012, and won Olympic gold later that summer at London 2012

Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour de France in 2012, and won Olympic gold later that summer at London 2012

“Cycling won’t disintegrate but it won’t have the profile it has enjoyed now. This day was always going to happen because the sport is so backward in some ways, the people that run it.

“It’s not corrupt but it’s so backward. There’s no money in the sport.

“Rather than be grateful for a company like Sky, people just hammered it.

“A sponsor as big as Sky, which have put so much into cycling and done so much for cycling, they should be thanked for the level they’ve helped the sport.

“Obviously there is Dave Brailsford and the generation of cyclists, but Sky have played a huge part in their success and the amount money they put into the team over the last ten years – £150million and maybe more.

“It’s incredible, and the timing of that with the timing of cyclists and what Dave wanted to do, we may not ever see it again.

Team Sky boss Brailsford has masterminded Team Sky’s success

Team Sky boss Brailsford has masterminded Team Sky’s success

“I can’t envisage a company the size of Sky coming in and doing that for cycling again.

“So to replace them in order to carry on and cover the wage bill and budget for the next few years will be a tough thing to find.”

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Cycling – talkSPORT

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