Froome likely to lead Sky on Tour de France: Wiggins

PARIS – Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has hinted that fellow Briton Chris Froome is likely to replace him as Team Sky leader for this year’s race, which is expected to favor the pure climbers.

Wiggins, whose main target in 2013 is to add the Giro d’Italia title to his list of honors in his quest to retire having won all three grand Tours (France, Italy and Spain), insisted he would not race as Froome’s domestique, however.

“I would love to win the Tour for a second time if given the opportunity, not necessarily this season, that would be great, but it is likely that Chris will be the team leader this year,” Wiggins told French daily L’Equipe on Tuesday.

“But it does not mean that I’m going to work at the front of the peloton for 200 kilometers everyday for Chris.

“Something could happen to Chris… he could be sick, he could crash as it happened to me in 2011 when we ended up without a team leader.”

Renowned climber Froome helped his team mate through the mountain stages of last year’s race to eventually finish second behind Wiggins, who added further insight into his plans to target the Giro this year.

“The Giro is my new challenge. It’s my inspiration. It’s the new fire burning inside me. I think that to win it, in some ways, will be harder than winning the Tour,” the 32-year-old told Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“There will be some riders, I’m thinking of (Vincenzo) Nibali, better prepared than on the 2012 Tour (de France). And who already know how to race a Giro to win it.”

Wiggins was adamant there would be no issues between him and Froome after questions were raised during last year’s Tour over his team mate’s loyalty.

“There won’t be any problem between me and Chris. No doubts about reciprocal loyalty. He was ready to win in 2012 if anything happened to me,” said Wiggins, who has radically changed his racing program.

He will take part in the Majorca challenge next month before participating in the Tour of Oman (February 11-16), the Tour of Catalunya (March 18-24), the Giro del Trentino (April 16-19) and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 21) classic before the Giro (May 4-26).

(Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin; Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by John O’Brien)

Read more :
  • Ferrer survives huge Almagro scare to reach semis
    MELBOURNE - Fourth seed David Ferrer stared defeat full in the face three times but battled back to beat fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 4-6 4-6 7-5 7-6 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the ...
  • Pune FC take on Dempo SC with an eye of moving up
    Pune FC eyes defending champions Dempo SC irregular form to gain places on the I-League table at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi, here on Thursday. Eager to forget t...
  • Federer skips Switzerland’s Davis Cup opener
    LONDON - Davis Cup champions the Czech Republic will not have to worry about facing Roger Federer in the opening round of their defense after he was left out of Switzerland's team for the G...
  • Two weeks and counting for the HarBowl hype
    BALTIMORE - With two weeks of hype left before the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is already trying to play down the drama of facing his little brother for the Nation...
  • PH to see action in Rugby World Cup 7
    The Volcanoes, under American coach Al Caravelli, are set to compete in the 2013 Rugby World Cup Seven slated on June 28 to 30. Caravelli told reporters during a press conference in Pasay ...
  • Rebuilding
    Raffy Ledesma The Boston Celtics era of the “Big Three” is officially over.  It was reported yesterday that the Celtics are trading their core veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the...
  • Van der Vaart aims to make difference for Netherlands
    Rafael van der Vaart says you need a mixture of experience and youth at the World Cup and the veteran midfielder can underscore his credentials to play in Brazil when the Netherlands take o...
  • Maria Sharapova pulls out of Brisbane International
    Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from January's Brisbane International due to an ankle injury. The Russian star twisted her left ankle at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in September a...