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A frustrated Chris Froome is hoping to have the full support of his team for Tour de France 2013

Updated: Sunday, 15 Jul 2012 17:34 | Comments

Chris Froome (l) feels the support he must give team leader Bradley Wiggins (r) is a 'very, very great sacrifice'.
Chris Froome (l) feels the support he must give team leader Bradley Wiggins (r) is a 'very, very great sacrifice'.

Chris Froome hopes to have the full support of Team Sky at the 2013 Tour de France if the route for the centenary edition of the race is as mountainous as expected.

Froome sits second behind Bradley Wiggins in the general classification and began today's 14th stage two minutes five seconds adrift, but his primary role is to support his team-mate and compatriot.

Wiggins is seeking to become the first British winner of the Tourand Froome could join him on the podium, something no Britons have achieved in the 99 previous additions of the race.

Froome launched an attack on stage 11 to the summit at La Toussuire and it appeared Wiggins did not go with him, leaving some observers to suggest he should be Team Sky's leader.

The Kenyan-born Briton maintains he will remain faithful to the team's support of Wiggins, but hopes to have similar faith shown in him next year.

In French sports daily L'Equipe, Froome said: "It all depends on the route. If there are Cols (summit finishes) I hope Sky will be honest and all my team-mates will be at my service, with the same loyalty I have shown today."

The attack, which Froome halted when he realised Wiggins was not on his wheel, prompted much debate, but Team Sky maintain the triple Olympic champion is the nominated leader.

With the Tour entering a crucial phase in the Pyrenees, Froome's support will be integral, but if Wiggins has a bad day, the lead may be passed on to ensure Team Sky remain at the top of the standings.

Froome added: "I could win this Tour, but not at Sky. I cannot lie to you, it's difficult, but it's my job."

"It's a very, very great sacrifice," admitted Froome. "We have a strategy around Wiggins and everybody respects it.

"If I feel that the Tour can be lost, I will follow the best riders, be that (Cadel) Evans or (Vincenzo) Nibali, to preserve our chance and be sure of Sky's presence."

Froome, who finished one place ahead of Wiggins in second at last September's Vuelta a Espana, has a long-term contract with Team Sky.

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