Tinkoff Saxo leader Alberto Contador says Team Sky rival Chris Froome is one of the best climbers in the peloton

Chris Froome will be one of the favourites for the 2015 Tour de France, according to his General Classification rival Alberto Contador.

In an interview with the BBC’s Matt Slater, the Vuelta a Espana champion dismissed claims that next year’s Tour route would not favour the Team Sky leader.

>>> Tour de France 2015 route revealed

With Froome speculating that he may skip the Tour when the route was announced in October, Contador admits the spectacle of the Grand Boucle is somewhat diminished if the big names aren’t present.

“It’s crucial for the sport that the strongest riders race against each other in the best races,” said Contador. “I think the Tour lost a little when Froome and me crashed.

>>> Chris Froome: Tour de France will be my main target in 2015

“Some people have said (next year’s route) isn’t for Froome because there’s no long time trial and it’s more for the climbers.

“But Froome isn’t a climber? Of course he is a climber. He was the best climber in 2013 and I still think he’s the favourite for next year.”