• Cycling

Froome hints Wiggins is not a rival at Tour de France

ESPN staff
February 7, 2014
Chris Froome is favourite to land back-to-back triumphs at the Tour de France © Getty Images

Chris Froome has hinted that Sir Bradley Wiggins will not be one of his main challengers at this year's Tour de France, with the reigning champion singling out Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador as rivals.

Wiggins became the first British rider to emerge victorious at the Tour de France in 2012, but after suffering a knee injury, he was unable to defend his yellow jersey the following year, enabling Froome to emerge as Team Sky's No. 1 rider and triumph.

Tensions between Wiggins and Froome have been laid to rest, and Wiggins revealed he is looking forward to racing alongside the current Tour champion when cycling's grandest event begins on July 5 in Leeds.

With Wiggins likely to play a supporting role to Froome, the latter believes the two riders who will be aiming to wrestle the yellow jersey off him are a two-time Le Tour winner and the reigning Giro d'Italia champion.

"I think the biggest rival at the moment is shaping up to be Vincenzo Nibali (Giro winner) or Alberto Contador (Tour de France champion in 2007 and 2009)," Froome said.

Froome also added he has shown to everyone he has the ability to continue as the team's top rider.

"I don't need to prove to people that I can do it. I don't need that experience again to go through leading each race to deal with media and all the pressures that come with leading a team," he said.

"I'd like to think I've ticked that box last year. The main goal is just to get ready for the tour, certainly if I can pick up a few victories before the tour that would give people a lot more confidence and tell me that I am on the right path."

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