Saturday 24 February 2018

Cycling: Froome ready to take centre stage for 2013 Tour de France

Brendan Gallagher

Team Sky could find themselves with a tricky tactical decision between reigning champion Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome after today's unveiling of the 2013 Tour de France route.

There have been strong indications recently that Wiggins wants to target the Giro next year as he attempts to compile a career hat-track of the Grand Tour titles and the rare appearance of a flattish 56km individual time-trial in the Giro would seem heaven sent for him. 2013 could be his best chance.

In that case Froome would be Sky's main contender for the Tour with Wiggins riding support, something the latter has said he would be happy to do at some unspecified future date.

As the reigning Tour champion it is difficult to envisage Wiggins not going to the start line at Porto Vecchio on Corsica on June 29 in some capacity and, as a rider who has universally been accepted as a clean winner of the 2012 Tour, the organisers ASO will be desperate for him to appear.

"I do not know yet if I will be able to ride two big tours. I will only be able to seek one win and I have the Tour (de France) in mind," said Froome.

"I think Bradley could be the leader on the Giro d'Italia and me on the Tour. But we still have to wait for next year's programmes and talk about this with the managers."

The complication could be that although the 2013 Tour will be truly spectacular it might not be quite as epic as had been widely predicted although we know for certain that the last mountain stage -- some say the last stage altogether -- will feature a double ascent of Alpe D'Huez.

In that event Froome's case would grow stronger but the likelihood is still that the race will finish with a night race around the streets of Paris and the traditional burn-up down the Champs Elysees. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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