Chris Froome defiant over Sky Tour leadership
Chris Froome insists the Tour de France remains his main goal for 2013 - and he expects to have the full backing of his Sky team-mates in the race.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly in London, this year's runner-up said the maillot jaune remains his principal target next year.
However, the murky issue of Sky leadership was thrown back into the spotlight last Thursday, after Bradley Wiggins said back-to-back Tour victories was his target. Wiggins had previously stated that he would seek to win the Giro d'Italia.
Here's an extract from the Froome interview...
CW: Does the Tour remain your main goal for next year?
"100%. The Tour is definitely my focus for next year."
CW: Do you expect full support from the team in the race?
"Definitely. Without someone like Mark [Cavendish] riding for Team Sky, that will free up possibly one or two spaces from this year's team that we can devote to the GC. Mark leaving was good for him, it means he can get a team that will work 100% for him at the Tour and for us, it means we can focus solely on the yellow jersey."
Froome was in London to attend Sunday night's Sports Personality of the Year award ceremony, and flew back to South Africa yesterday. He will spend the next month there before attending the Sky training camp in Majorca. His racing season will begin at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal (February 13-17), as it did in 2013.
* An in-depth interview with Chris Froome will appear in Cycling Weekly next month.