Sky’s Chris Froome is planning to win the Tour de France this year or the next. He said today in an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe that anything is possible.

“If I feel that the Tour can be lost,” Froome said, “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 said that the team’s orders are first for Wiggins, who leads the race by 2-05 minutes on Froome and 2-23 on Nibali (Liquigas).

“I could win this Tour, but not at Sky. I cannot lie to you, it’s difficult, but it’s my job,” he said. “It’s a very, very great sacrifice. We have a strategy around Wiggins and everybody respects it.”

Cycling Weekly and other journalists spoke with Bjarne Riis this morning about Sky. Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank’s team manager, who guided Carlos Sastre to the Tour win in 2008, said it does not matter if Froome or Wiggins win the race.

“I think I’ll leave it up to them, I’m not directing their team, so I don’t exactly what’s going on or how they feel. If I was there, I know what I’d do,” he explained.

“Isn’t [Froome] still English if he was born somewhere else [Africa]? The biggest interest of team Sky should be that they can win the Tour, no matter where [the rider] comes from. If they don’t have that philosophy, one day or another, they will have a problem, that’s for sure.”

Alberto Contador will return to ride with Riis after his doping ban ends next month.

Froome signed a new three-year contract with Sky leading the team to second overall in the Vuelta a España last year. If not this year, he said that he wants to return to win the Tour in 2013.

“It all depends on the route,” Froome told L’Equipe. “If there are passes, I hope Sky will be honest and all my team-mates will be at my service, with the same loyalty I have shown today.”

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

Wiggins still Sky’s main man as Tour heads towards Pyrenees

Millar’s Tour win comes after ‘second chance’

Froome explains his attack on La Toussuire

Nibali fails to crack Sky but pleased with Tour mountains performance

Roche ready to achieve career-long Tour top ten ambition

Wiggins: ‘I’m not some s**t rider that’s come from nowhere

Nibali hits out at Wiggins after Tour frustration

Cavendish enjoying new Tour role

Wiggins taking nothing for granted in ‘dream scenario’

Sky keeping Tour focus on Wiggins

Di Gregorio arrested by police at Tour de France

Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 provisional start list

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage

Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last

Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back

Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials

CW’s Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage 13 by Graham Watson

Stage 12 by Graham Watson

Stage 11 by Graham Watson

Stage 10 by Graham Watson

Stage nine by Graham Watson

Stage eight by Graham Watson

Stage seven by Graham Watson

Stage six by Graham Watson

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage 10 live coverage

Stage nine live coverage

Stage six live coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule
ITV4 live schedule
British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever

  • Organised Confusion

    Mr. Brailsford needs to shut him down and get him focussed on the task at hand.

    Unless L’Equipe has mistranslated his comments (and I have seen numerous suggestions that this is the case – a further attempt to destabilise the yellow jersey campaign perhaps?), Froome’s timing is poor, a tad distateful and unnecessary. I think we can wait gfor your personal views, Mr. Froome, once you have completed the job next Sunday. Until then, keep your opinions to yourself.

  • Tom Knox

    Chris has shown real poor form to make a statement like this mid- race. Personally I think Froome is delusional. We know Wiggo is the man in the TT and it appeared Bradly was gaping Chris, just be fore the infamous “attack”. Chris may be able to jump away, but I think Bradley is fitter and would bring him back and I am not sure Chris could hold Wiggos wheel when he did. And besides riding a great Tour Bradley has really shown his class and leadership waiting for Cadel as well as addressing the doping issue. I must be tough having such great form in the shadow of the Pharmstrong scandal. And any cycling insider who has watched Bradley’s progress realizes it is the result of talent, motivation, and an incredible work ethic.

  • JMH

    Few cyclists win a Grand Tour without a team behind them. Unfortunately, with comments like this Chris Froome will struggle to obtain the respect of anyone in the peleton..

    Red Balloon is right if his loss to Cobo at last years Vuelta was eating him up inside so much, he should have turned down the big money offer and moved on. Sadly I doubt he would have found a team that would have put their full resources behind him at this years TDF. Even talented young riders have to serve an apprenticeship, prove their worth over more than a couple of climbs and earn their spurs.

  • KWC

    What Froome is saying is that he has better DOPE then Wiggins………

  • Ali Manners

    If he did really say these things, he got it wrong. However, I suspect that what he did say has been taken out of context or mis-quoted as we have seen time and time again from journalists after headlines. When he has been interviewed before he has always been very respectful of Wiggo. They are both great cyclists but team right to back and support Wiggo.

    After BMC gate today – I think they will have a new story about Cadel and TJ and froomgate will be forgotten.

  • Mark Jones

    Wiggins has gained the respect of the team from his results over the last two years and especially this year. I have lost a lot of respect for Froome over the last couple of days and this sort of talk does nothing but harm the team’s chances. Brad is 2:33 ahead of Nibali with the TT still to come, so they have no reason to panic at this stage.

  • Piskian

    This’s a translated article from L’Equipe.Take that as you like.French journos?CW taking it as read?Lazy journos?YOU figure it out!

  • sheldon

    I’m not sure that CF could win this years Tour, he lost time to Wiggo in the time trial. Wiggo is riding well in yellow with all the added pressures the Jersey brings, we don’t know how CF would cope with that responsibility and pressures.
    Wiggo is looking stronger on the climbs each day and I don’t think he could take time from Wiggins if he was to attack. CF does not look as strong and with his health problems who knows when he might crack. Sky are backing the right man 100% sure of this.
    Wiggins is a class rider and the best may be yet to come. We will see.

  • Braceylady

    Totally agree with you redballoon. I also don’t actually believe he is stronger than Wiggins. He hasn’t the calmness, experience & discipline. Being stronger on 1 ascent does not make him a better rider. He’s paid to do a job & that’s what he should do.

  • redballoon

    I am surprised CF has made such a comment. It is ivery disingenious. He always struck me in interview as person of integrity. If he was not prepared to make these very hard sacrifices, then he should not have signed up again with TS and should have left after the Vuelta. Sky will have been very patient with him, given his medical problems, and if it had not been for the Vuelta, he would have been out of their set up. He is obviously a talented rider, but these comments do nothing but undermine Wiggins, and to do it at this late hour is disgraceful. Moreover, to the say that he wants a full team to be backing him in the 2013 tour, leaves one incredulous. Ambition is one thing, but what arrogance! If I was Dave B, I would read him the riot act.

  • adam

    I hear you Chris, but keep quiet til the end of the Tour. They’ll be enough magazines wanting to hear your thougths then. For now your job is supporting Wiggins – and that means mentally as well. Keep schtoom for another week…. maybe your chance will come this Tour, but if not then it will come in the future.