Tour de France: Stephen Roche feels Chris Froome is in ideal position to win
Stephen Roche feels Chris Froome will thrive in the 100th Tour de France and has the qualities of a potential champion.
Last Updated: 20/06/13 3:43pm
The Team Sky rider heads into the race, which starts on June 29, as favourite to go one better than last year when he helped Wiggins into the yellow jersey, some feeling he was the stronger rider.
Froome enters the race in top form, having won four major races this season including the recent Criterium du Dauphine, and Roche - winner of the race in 1987 - feels he can handle all the expectation.
"He has all the qualities to win a Tour," Roche said. "I've no doubt about it, Froome can cope with anything that's thrown at him.
"He's a very intelligent guy, very nice guy, very humble, very good with the press, very good with the public, very good with his team-mates.
"I've always felt he could win the Tour, but at the same time I think he's very good for cycling. Winning the Tour this year and never to be seen again is not what cycling needs.
"Cycling needs guys that are champions, there from February through to October, which Froome is doing at the moment. Christopher Froome, for me, is great for cycling."
Roche also feels it is too early to write off Wiggins, who misses the defence of his title with a knee injury.
He added: "Champions don't die. They may have knee problems, but they come back.
"Chris is younger than Bradley, but at the same time Bradley was a trackie and became a road man.
"Bradley isn't old as regards a roadie and he's trained extremely hard in the last couple of years to get to the level that he's at.
"I'm quite confident Bradley will come back and hopefully what's happened to him now might bring him down a peg, to realise it's better to have two leaders in a team capable of winning than being the only unique leader."