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 :
  • Glock leaves Marussia F1 team
    LONDON - German Formula One driver Timo Glock has left Marussia with immediate effect and by mutual consent, the Russian-licensed team said on Monday. They added that a replacement would b...
  • Neville brothers to coach England under-21s
    Phil Neville has joined brother Gary in taking up a coaching role with England after being named in the backroom staff of the country's under-21 side for this summer's European Championship...
  • I-League: Salgaocar beat Mumbai FC; Prayag United beat United Sikkim
    A second-half strike from Milagres Gonsalves saw Salgaocar FC beat Mumbai FC by a solitary goal in the 21st round of the I-League, played at the Duler Stadium in Mapusa on Saturday. After ...
  • Rafael Nadal faces Juan Monaco in Davis Cup opener
    World number two Rafael Nadal will open his Davis Cup campaign for Spain with a clash against Juan Monaco on Friday. The former Wimbledon champion's teammate David Ferrer will face Juan De...
  • Police probe after coins thrown at Lampard, Terry
    Police launched an investigation on Sunday after coins were thrown at Frank Lampard and John Terry during Chelsea's 2-0 win over West Ham at Stamford Bridge. Lampard, a former West Ham pla...
  • Murray shoots down weary Simon to reach last eight
    MELBOURNE - Andy Murray made harder work of it than many expected but still eased comfortably into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory over weary Frenchman ...
  • David Beckham to take up China role next week
    Football superstar David Beckham will begin his highly-anticipated role as ambassador for the Chinese Super League next week, with domestic media saying on Friday he will visit three cities...
  • Federer and Serena power into quarter-finals
    MELBOURNE - Roger Federer delivered a lesson to the next generation at the Australian Open, extending his record to a 35th consecutive grand slam quarter-final after Serena Williams set up ...