Cycling: Wiggins open to Tour support role
Published 19/12/2012 | 05:00
Bradley Wiggins is ready to accept whatever decision Team Sky make over their leader for next year's Tour de France.
Wiggins this year became the first British winner of cycling's biggest event, but the announcement of next year's mountainous route appeared to play more to the strengths of Chris Froome, Wiggins' back-up this year.
Froome said: "The team are saying they are going to back me with the Tour this year. That's directly from Dave (Brailsford). He said: 'You're our man for the Tour. Focus on it."'
But team leader Brailsford has been more equivocal over the issue in recent days, opening up the possibility of Wiggins defending his title.
Wiggins, who followed up his Tour triumph with a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic time trial and the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Award, said: "It could be any one of us, it could be Chris Froome on the day, it could be me, but once we get on that line we all have a professional obligation."
World No 1 Rory McIlroy has been named the European Tour Golfer of the Year.
McIlroy succeeds Luke Donald as winner of the coveted award.
McIlroy captured his second Major title in August, winning the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island by a record eight shots, matching the victory margin of his maiden Major triumph in the 2011 US Open.
"This puts the icing on the cake," he said of his glorious 2012.
Meanwhile, the decision on who leads Europe at the next Ryder Cup may not be taken in Abu Dhabi next month.
Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are vying for the position, but Tour chief executive George O'Grady said the tournament committee vote would "not necessarily" happen at their next meeting before the Abu Dhabi Championship.
An incredible scoring display from Michael Butler gave Gallen Community School the perfect early Christmas present when they cruised to a 4-14 to 2-5 victory in the final of the Leinster Vocational Schools Junior football championship over Cnoc Mhuire, Granard.
Full-forward Butler ensured the red-hot favourites came out on top with a brace of goals in the opening half before completing the hat-trick five minutes into the second half.
The Ferbane School claimed the title after being defeated by Granard in the final last year.
Scorers – Gallen: M Butler 3-7 (0-1f), D Hogan 1-1, C Kenny 0-4 (2f); R Heavin, C Owens 0-1 each. Granard: A Brady 2-2 (0-2f); S Shields, M Kiernan and N McGahern 0-1 each.
GALLEN – B Rohan; A Seery, J Corcoran, R Hynes; L Cooper, J Egan, T Corcoran; C Kenny, K Higgins; C Owens, R Heavin, B McEvoy; D Hogan, M Butler, J Clancy. Subs: C Lynam for McEvoy (48), E Molloy for Hynes (52), J Lowry for Owens (55), J Darcy for Cooper (55).
GRANARD – R Harkin; J Mooney, L Meehan, S McGarry; C O'Reilly, C Brady, C Brady; B McKiernan, C Mallon; J Matthews, M Kiernan, R Brady; S Shields, A Brady, N McGahern. Subs: A Bogdan for O'Reilly (ht), C O'Reilly for McGarry (48), C Lynch for Matthews (57).
REF – M McAdden (Westmeath).