Chris Froome has again denied that he deliberately looked to distance Bradley Wiggins on La Toussuire at the Tour de France and expressed his regret that his Sky teammate supposedly considered leaving the race that evening.
Wiggins made the allegation in his recently published autobiography (the second of his career to date) and admitted that he was “a bit confused” when Froome again went briefly on the offensive in the Pyrenees at Peyragudes. Wiggins and Froome finished the Tour in first and second place overall.
“I’m sorry that he lived it like that,” Froome told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I never rode against him even if not many people realised that. If I attacked, it was to gain time on those who were just behind us – above all Nibali, who is a great rider and will be Wiggins’ main rival at the Giro 2013. I was always loyal, 100 percent.”
Froome is likely to begin his 2013 campaign at the Volta ao Algarve in February and while Wiggins in pencilled in to lead Sky at the Giro d’Italia, Froome is aiming squarely at the Tour de France.
“I’ll join up with the team in Majorca in January,” Froome said. “I’ll start in Algarve in February, I’ll probably do Tirreno-Adriatico in March and I’ll put everything on the Tour, which is harder than the last one. Last time, l’Alpe d’Huez wasn’t there and this time we’ll do it twice in the same stage.”
Froome also expressed his hope that he has fully recovered from the Bilharzia virus, which he contracted two years ago and which again hindered his preparation in the spring of 2012. “It’s a parasite that is carried in water and enters the skin, attacking the red blood cells. You feel exhausted and your immune system is weakened,” he said. “They diagnosed it two years ago and I hope that I don’t have any more relapses.”