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Chris Froome has backed former team-mate Mark Cavendish over his reasons for leaving Team Sky

Updated: Saturday, 10 Nov 2012 12:31 | Comments

Chris Froome (c), said of Mark Cavendish's (l) departure: "Certain promises were made to him that weren't fulfilled."
Chris Froome (c), said of Mark Cavendish's (l) departure: "Certain promises were made to him that weren't fulfilled."

Chris Froome has backed Mark Cavendish over his claims that Team Sky could have done more to help him during this year's Tour de France - adding that he can "empathise" with his former team-mate.

The Manxman was unable to mount a serious challenge for the sprinter's green jersey at this year's Tour as his team focused its efforts on Bradley Wiggins' successful bid for overall victory.

Cavendish left Team Sky following the Tour and joined Omega Pharma-Quickstep last month.

He claimed last week that the team had left him feeling like "a back-up rider", adding: "The promise I had signed to Sky on (to challenge for both titles) wasn't really a promise".

And Froome, who finished second behind Wiggins and is expected to be the British squad's leader in next year's Tour, told Cycling News: "I think his comments are just.

"Certain promises were made to him that weren't fulfilled. I can empathise with that.

"He's a great stage winner and contender for the green jersey, and this year he had to put those ambitions aside for the team to focus on the yellow jersey.

"I definitely know that, in the team, the focus was to get the yellow jersey more than it was to get the green jersey. There were some moments of the race where we were overly cautious."

"Certain promises were made to him [Mark Cavendish] that weren't fulfilled" - Chris Froome

"Perhaps we would have been too greedy if we were too ambitious. I do believe we could have got more out of the race without compromising the yellow jersey."

The mountainous route for the 2013 race is unlikely to play to Wiggins' strengths, leaving Froome to step into the limelight.

"It hasn't been 100% confirmed, but that is how things are shaping up at the moment," he said. "Bradley has announced that he wants to focus on the Giro (d'Italia). I think that would mean that I can focus on the Tour."

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