Bradley Wiggins became Britain’s first Tour de France champion in 2012. Photo: Laurent Cipriani/AP

LONDON – Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins says Team Sky can maintain their dominance of cycling’s Grand Tour events under prospective new owners, with general manager Dave Brailsford in an “ideal situation”.

The media giant announced in December it would be ending its decade-long association with the team at the end of 2019, with eight Grand Tour victories secured so far.

Widespread reports have suggested Britain’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe, with an estimated fortune of £21 billion (about R400 billion), will step in and create Team Ineos, after the chemicals giant that he founded, and Wiggins believes they will continue to thrive under Brailsford.

“Dave will want to retain control, and it is Dave’s way in terms of the way he manages the team, the way he sets the team up,” the Olympic gold medallist told The Bradley Wiggins Show on Eurosport.

“I think he would have been reluctant to have another multinational company that came in that wanted it for the advertisement, and to get their name out there, but would want the control in terms of ‘This is how we want to do it in terms of how we advertise our company’.

“Dave can continue running out this team with all his plans and philosophies, so it’s an ideal situation for him, and he is answerable, you’d imagine, to one man – it’s his money. It will certainly help that team.”

Team Sky’s partnership with British media company Sky has delivered six Tour de France titles in the past seven years.

Wiggins became Britain’s first Tour de France champion in 2012, before Chris Froome won four Tour de France titles and Geraint Thomas became Sky’s third winner of cycling’s landmark event in 2018.

But amid Sky’s success, there has been controversy over the team’s use of special exemptions to administer drugs that can enhance performance.

AFP