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 :
  • BECKHAM SEES ‘BRIGHT’ FUTURE FOR CHINA GAME
    SHANGHAI: Football superstar David Beckham said Thursday he sees a “bright” future for the Chinese game despite past corruption scandals and the dismal performance of the national team. Vis...
  • Lakers limp out of Canada seeking spark to save season
    TORONTO - The struggling Los Angeles Lakers were unable to solve their mounting problems in the National Basketball Association's most northern outpost on Sunday as the Toronto Raptors hand...
  • Minoza joins ICTSI Rancho title hunt
    Frankie Minoza gets to see action again on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour as he joins the three-leg southern swing of the circuit beginning with the ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes Classic on Wed...
  • Prandelli mum on team for Malta qualifier
    Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will leave the selection of his starting line-up for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Group B's bottom side Malta until the last minute. Before leaving fo...
  • Seattle group signs deal for Sacramento pro basketball team
    SEATTLE - A Seattle-based investment group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen has signed a binding agreement to buy a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings basketball team, pavin...
  • 2014 World Cup Qualifying: England held by dogged Montenegro
    Montenegro produced a rousing second-half display to earn a 1-1 draw at home to England on Tuesday that enabled them to preserve a two-point lead in their World Cup qualifying group. Wayne...
  • Real Madrid to sue doctor over debt claim
    Real Madrid are planning to sue Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the centre of a blood doping scandal who claims the Spanish football giants owe him money. In a statement released ...
  • Rafael Nadal confident over Olympic fitness
    Rafael Nadal has revealed that he is confident that he will be fit to defend his Olympic gold medal later this month. The world number two's participation at the event, which is being held...