Froome: Not winning this year's Tour is 'very great sacrifice'
Chris Froome wins, Tour de France 2012, stage seven
Sky's Chris Froome is planning to win the Tour de France this year or the next. He said today in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe that anything is possible.
"If I feel that the Tour can be lost," Froome said, "I will follow the best riders, be that [Cadel] Evans or [Vincenzo] Nibali, to preserve our chance and be sure of Sky's presence."
Froome said that the team's orders are first for Wiggins, who leads the race by 2-05 minutes on Froome and 2-23 on Nibali (Liquigas).
"I could win this Tour, but not at Sky. I cannot lie to you, it's difficult, but it's my job," he said. "It's a very, very great sacrifice. We have a strategy around Wiggins and everybody respects it."
Cycling Weekly and other journalists spoke with Bjarne Riis this morning about Sky. Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's team manager, who guided Carlos Sastre to the Tour win in 2008, said it does not matter if Froome or Wiggins win the race.
"I think I'll leave it up to them, I'm not directing their team, so I don't exactly what's going on or how they feel. If I was there, I know what I'd do," he explained.
"Isn't [Froome] still English if he was born somewhere else [Africa]? The biggest interest of team Sky should be that they can win the Tour, no matter where [the rider] comes from. If they don't have that philosophy, one day or another, they will have a problem, that's for sure."
Alberto Contador will return to ride with Riis after his doping ban ends next month.
Froome signed a new three-year contract with Sky leading the team to second overall in the Vuelta a España last year. If not this year, he said that he wants to return to win the Tour in 2013.
"It all depends on the route," Froome told L'Equipe. "If there are passes, I hope Sky will be honest and all my team-mates will be at my service, with the same loyalty I have shown today."
Tour de France 2012: Latest news
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Nibali hits out at Wiggins after Tour frustration
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Wiggins taking nothing for granted in 'dream scenario'
Sky keeping Tour focus on Wiggins
Di Gregorio arrested by police at Tour de France
Tour de France 2012: Stage reports
Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage
Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last
Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back
Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour
Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT
Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks
Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage
Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage
Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades
Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes
Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne
Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory
Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt
Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second
Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs
Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles
Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour's time trials
CW's Tour de France podcasts
Blog: Tour presentation - chasing dreams and autographs
Comment: Cavendish the climber
Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries
Stage 13 by Graham Watson
Stage 12 by Graham Watson
Stage 11 by Graham Watson
Stage 10 by Graham Watson
Stage nine by Graham Watson
Stage eight by Graham Watson
Stage seven by Graham Watson
Stage six by Graham Watson
Stage five by Graham Watson
Stage four by Graham Watson
Stage three by Graham Watson
Stage two by Andy Jones
Stage two by Graham Watson
Stage one by Graham Watson
Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones
Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler
Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2012: Team presentation
Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce
Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage
Stage 10 live coverage
Stage nine live coverage
Stage six live coverage
Stage five live coverage
Stage four live coverage
Stage three live coverage
Cycling Weekly's live text coverage schedule
Tour de France 2012: Related links
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
Brief history of the Tour de France
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever