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I’ll help Froome win the Tour, says Wiggins

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Jul. 17, 2012
  • Updated Jul. 17, 2012 at 4:48 PM EDT
Wiggins pledged to help Froome win the Tour in the future if the opportunity arises. AFP photo / Joel Saget

PAU, France (AFP) — Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins has pledged to help Sky teammate Chris Froome win the yellow jersey in the future — if they remain in the same team together.
  
Before the race resumes on Wednesday’s 16th stage in the Pyrénées, Wiggins leads Froome by 2:05 in the race’s general classification, with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) in third, at 2:23.
  
A British one-two in the overall standings now looks a strong possibility ahead of the race finish next Sunday in Paris. It would be the first British Tour win in 99 editions.
  
But while Sky would welcome the scenario, many believe Froome to be fully deserving of winning the race himself.
  
In an interview earlier this week, Froome said he felt he was making a “big sacrifice” for Wiggins.
  
Ahead of two crucial stages in the mountains that could decide whether Wiggins succeeds Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), fourth at 3:19, to make history the Londoner has attempted to defuse any ill feeling.
  
Asked if there was any tension between himself and Froome, Wiggins replied: “Not at all. What we do well is we race as a team, and that’s why we’re in this position now.
  
“I’m surrounded by incredibly talented bike riders, including Chris Froome. The guy is capable of winning the Tour, for sure, otherwise he wouldn’t be second overall in the Tour de France.
  
“And he will win this race one day. And I will be there to help him do that.”
  
With two long time trials and few big mountain climbs, the route for the 99th edition is almost tailor-made for Wiggins, a three-time Olympic track champion who excels in the race against the clock.
  
Next year’s route, which ASO will unveil in October, could well suit Froome better. But Wiggins says it is far too soon to be looking that far ahead.
  
“It’s difficult to say. We’ll finish this Tour first. Where do I go after this season if I run out winner of the Tour on Sunday?” said Wiggins, who will contest the Olympic time trial and road race alongside Froome in London.
  
“Until all that’s done, until I get home and get back to reality and start going up the shop again to get a loaf of bread and a pint of milk, let the dust settle, start thinking about your goals and what’s going to drive you through the winter,” said Wiggins, “whatever happens, I’m part of this team and I always want to be part of this team until the end of my career. It is about the team being successful.
  
“Whatever the line-up is next year and whoever the leader of that line-up will be… I’ve lived up to the expectation so far, but that could change, who knows?
  
“What’s important is that the team succeeds. Otherwise, there’s no point in me being in this team, if it’s just about me. It’s never just been about me.”

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