Chris Froome expects Bradley Wiggins to try and defend Tour de France title

By Mark Kendall - Twitter: @SkySportsMK.   Last Updated: 17/12/12 5:34pm

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Chris Froome (L) insists both he and Bradley Wiggins (R) could go for TDF glory in 2013

Chris Froome (L) insists both he and Bradley Wiggins (R) could go for TDF glory in 2013

Sky Bet

Chris Froome insists he expects Bradley Wiggins to try and defend his Tour de France crown next year and believes Team Sky could operate with two lead riders.

After the 2013 itinerary was revealed, it was widely assumed that Team Sky would look to install Froome as their 'leader' for the event given the fact the route looks more suited to specialist climbers.

But Wiggins - who won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday - has made it clear in recent days he intends to try and challenge for the yellow jersey again next year.

Froome, who finished second behind Wiggins on the podium back in July, understands his team-mate's position and believes their competition could even benefit the team.

Only natural

"I think it's only natural that he would want to defend his jersey or go there again to keep the legacy alive," Froome told Sky Sports.

Froome: Wiggo rivalry not ideal

"But I think the most important thing for us as a team is that one of us is going to be there in the yellow jersey at the end of it, whatever we can do to get to that point, be it Brad or myself.

"I think we're going in in a much stronger position having two of us even considering going for it."

Froome acknowledged that it could prove tricky with two riders gunning for overall glory, but feels that Team Sky supremo Dave Brailsford and his staff will be capable of coming up with a strategy to maintain team harmony.

"It's not an ideal situation, but if it's managed correctly and the team goes in with a precise plan around that, whatever that plan may be, I think we're all professional enough to do our jobs and follow that plan."

Wiggins eyes double

Meanwhile, Wiggins looks to be priming himself for an audacious Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double next year as he looks to further cement his reputation as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.

It appears that both Grand Tours are on his radar for the coming campaign, with the Briton keen to join an exclusive list of just seven riders who have achieved the Italy-France double in the same season.

"I want to try and win the Giro d'Italia and win the Tour de France behind it," he said. "People say it can't be done, winning two Tours. So let's have a go at it."

The double has not been achieved since Marco Pantani in 1998, owing largely to the normally severe difficulty of May's Giro serving to deter riders who are keen to keep themselves fresh for the Tour.

The last man to attempt it was Alberto Contador in 2011, but after finishing first in a brutal Giro, he was fatigued at the Tour and could only finish fifth (both results were later erased due to the Spaniard's doping suspension).

The other riders to have completed the double are Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Stephen Roche and Miguel Indurain.

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