Froome statement: ‘I will lead Sky at the Tour’

Sky teammates Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins seem to contradict each other regarding the 2013 Tour de France

Tension appears to be growing within Team Sky over which rider will lead its Tour de France campaign.

Over the weekend, Chris Froome, who finished second to teammate Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 Tour, captured the overall title at the Tour de Romandie. VeloNews reported this morning that Froome was still focusing on this summer’s Tour, and that his team would support him in his bid to win the yellow jersey.

Wiggins, meanwhile, spoke to a group of journalists in the United Kingdom today and said that Sky’s Tour leadership has not yet been decided. Wiggins will attempt to win the Giro d’Italia, which starts this Saturday, and wants to race at the Tour as well.

“Chris’ preparations continue as they are, he ends up winning the [Tour de] Dauphine and we both arrive at the Tour ready to go in the best possible [shape],” Wiggins said. “And [team principal Dave Brailsford’s] got to make a call, somewhere there, as to who is the leader. At this stage, all being well, it may be that we end up joint leaders for that first week until the racing decides.”

Froome responded with a statement of his own, sent to VeloNews:

“There has been much speculation regarding the leadership for Team Sky at the Tour de France this year. I have made it clear that winning the Tour would be my main objective for 2013. I have been reassured by the management at Team Sky that I have their full backing, and at no time has the leadership of the Tour team been in question. Attempting to win the Tour de France is a massive undertaking, and will take total commitment from each and every team member. The Tour team has yet to be selected but with the depth of talent that we have at Team Sky, I have no doubt that the strongest and most willing riders will be there to support me.

“Confidence is high in the camp following the success at the Tour of Romandie. This week I will be doing a recon of the Mont Ventoux summit finish, which could be a critical stage of this year’s Tour de France. A group of us will be going to Tenerife next week to continue training at altitude in our build-up to the Tour.”