Froome: Not winning this year's Tour is 'very great sacrifice'

Chris Froome wins, Tour de France 2012, stage seven

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

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