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 :
  • Messi magic leaves Argentina in control in WC qualifiers
    Lionel Messi scored once and set up two goals as Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 to remain in control of the South American qualifying race for the 2014 World Cup Buenos Aires on Friday. The ...
  • Sharapova, Serena set up bitter Wimbledon campaign
    LONDON: Maria Sharapova tore into Wimbledon rival Serena Williams on the eve of the Championships, setting the tone for a tournament likely to be dominated by their unseemly public row. Th...
  • Sports Mole’s WAG of the week: Caroline Wozniacki
    Age: 21 Occupation: Tennis player WAG of: Rory McIlroy, number one golfer WAG since: 2011 At the age of just 22, Irishman Rory McIlroy built upon his successful 2011 by becoming the numb...
  • Pressure on Spain in qualifier against France
    Spain will edge closer to an unexpected playoff place if it fails to beat France in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. The Spanish surprisingly drew 1-1 against Finland on Friday while ...
  • Carles Puyol’s season at risk following surgery
    Barcelona defender Carles Puyol could miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on an ongoing knee problem, club doctors confirmed on Saturday. Puyol finally had the surgery on ...
  • 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 ...
  • Pacquiao vows to help young fighters
    Manny Pacquiao with new champion Edrin Dapudong, PT Jeff de Guzman and former North Cotabato gov. Manny Pinol. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Filipino boxing icon and Saranggani Lone District Represent...
  • PVF to send squad to Thailand tilt
    THE Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) under acting president Karl Geoffrey Lee Chan is assembling a women’s volleyball team for the 2013 Asian Seniors Women’s Volleyball Championship o...