Wiggins hails Froome as the 'best rider of the modern generation'


Bradley Wiggins has hailed Chris Froome as "the best Tour rider of the modern generation" after his former Team Sky colleague claimed a third yellow jersey on Sunday.

Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France thanks to the assistance of second-placed Froome, who went on to claim the crown for himself the following year and again in 2015, retaining it with relative ease during this month's event.

The Kenyan-born Britain, relatively unopposed as the likes of Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana struggled, is just the eighth man to win three or more Tour titles.

"That puts him up there now as probably the best Tour rider of the modern generation, going past Alberto Contador," Wiggins told Sky Sports.

"Not just Chris, but the whole team. It was a dominant victory, in the best sense of the word."

Allegations of performance-enhancing drug use have been flung at Froome and Team Sky during the British outfit's continued dominance of the prestigious Grand Tour event, but Wiggins feels the apparent resentment toward the relative newcomers has softened in 2016.

"All those hints and things of doping are all gone this year and it was much more about the performance and what they were doing as a unit," he said.

Wiggins predicted big things to come from Adam Yates, the 23-year-old British winner of the white jersey as the Tour's best young rider.

"Adam nearly pulled off that podium, but for a mechanical [problem]," he said.

"He has just shown now the potential everyone knew he had and you would say now that he is the next British Tour winner, who could win the Tour in the next five to 10 years."

And Wiggins also tipped Froome to emulate his achievement of winning the Tour and Olympic road time trial in the same year at the Rio Games next month.

"It's close enough that you almost stay in the routine - keep riding your bike today and tomorrow and you are straight into the Olympics," he said.

"If it was a month or six weeks it would be a lot more challenging, but if anyone can do it, he can do and I'm sure he will do it. He has to go into it now as the favourite, so good luck to him."

Team Sky general manager David Brailsford meanwhile told the BBC he expects Froome to continue competing at the top for "three or four more years".

"He's as hungry as ever," the former British Cycling performance director said.

"Much of how far he can go will be about how much he can retain his desire."