Chris Froome expects to be Team Sky's spearhead for a second straight Tour de France victory next year - not defending champion Bradley Wiggins.
With a mountainous course in France this year which plays to Froome's strengths more than those of Wiggins, it has been widely assumed the 27-year-old will be the team leader and he believes he has been told by team principal Dave Brailsford that will be the case.
Froome told The Times: "The team are saying they are going to back me with the Tour this year. That's directly from Dave. He said: 'You're our man for the Tour. Focus on it."'
Wiggins, who on Sunday was named Sports Personality of the Year, has previously stated his focus for 2013 will be the Giro d'Italia, adding further weight to Froome's Tour case, but Brailsford himself was more equivocal on the matter.
Brailsford told The Guardian: "At the moment Chris is going full gas for the Tour and Brad is going there by a different route and we will see when we get there.
"The guys will be trying to be the best they can be. We will see what condition they are in. The legs will do the talking."
However, yesterday Bradley Wiggins told The Guardian on Monday, ""I've always wanted to win a second Tour.
"I'm the defending champion. I want to try and win the Giro d'Italia and win the Tour de France behind it.
"People say it can't be done, winning two Tours. So let's have a go at it."
Team Sky have also confirmed the signing of 20-year-old British rider Josh Edmondson to a two-year contract.
The Yorkshireman said: "I see myself as a climbing specialist but my main aim with Team Sky is to develop my tour riding and get used to competing alongside the best riders in the world."