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Wiggins targets Giro-Tour double
Sir Bradley Wiggins remains intent on defending his Tour de France title as he prepares to lead Team Sky at the Giro d'Italia.
Wiggins, the first British winner of the yellow jersey at last year's race, insists he is committed to a twin assault in 2013 rather than playing a support role for Sky team-mate Chris Froome in France - at least until he is told otherwise by team boss Dave Brailsford.
For now, the Olympic time-trial champion is focused on the Giro, starting on Saturday, which Wiggins believes could be tougher to win than the Tour de France.
"It's a huge challenge, probably bigger than the Tour de France," Wiggins told BBC Sport. "The Tour de France is my focus, it's just that I'm doing the Giro before."
Only seven riders have completed the Giro-Tour double, but Wiggins believes his experience in winning the Tour de France before returning to London for the Olympics, where he competed in the road race and claimed gold in the time trial just two weeks after leaving Paris.
"It's like last year and the Olympics," he continued. "I was focused on that and the Tour. This year the Giro comes first.
"There's been a lot of talk about me riding in support of [Froome] but it's for the team management to decide.
"We are both on different paths and we're both professionals. We have been there before. We're on the same team and we know what needs to be done.
"I would be comfortable in a supporting role but it's not like I'm going to ride 200km on the front and swing off and lose 30 minutes. I want to be there at the death, I want to be on the podium."
Froome, who finished runner-up to Wiggins in last year's Tour de France, added the Tour de Romandie to his Tour of Oman and Criterium International titles in 2013 and has made no secret of his ambition to race for victory in the 100th Tour de France.
Sky are unlikely to split their resources to support both Wiggins and Froome, leaving the management with a difficult call.
"Somebody will need to make that decision," Wiggins admitted. "It will be quite hard, and I'm glad it's not me, but Dave is good at it."