Chris Froome is Team Sky's best chance to win the Tour de France, according to Stephen Roche. The Irishman also said that the team's plan to go for both the yellow and green jerseys at the Tour this year could backfire, leaving them empty handed.
Team principal Dave Brailsford has said he hoped to have a Tour winner within five years of setting up the team. “Initially I felt that that that was just a commercial pitch because a Tour de France winner doesn’t just come along like that,” Roche told telegraph.co.uk.
"So who’s Brailsford got in his pocket capable of winning the Tour? Wiggins? Well maybe now, but not at the time. But now we look at it differently so I think Brailsford was very courageous to come out and announce that," he said.
“For me, though, I think Froome is the one: he’s got a great attitude, great ability, he time-trials well, climbs well and recuperates very well and can last the three weeks. Ok, Bradley’s there, but he’s now targeted. People know Bradley, whereas Froome could benefit from the limelight being on Bradley and Cavendish.”
Cavendish joined the team for the 2012 season, and is looking to once again win the green points jersey he took last year for the first time. That will give the team the task of attempting to take the overall title plus the green jersey.
“They might, though, lose everything by targeting both. It will be very difficult for them,” said Roche.
“Cavendish has a habit of getting himself docked points for his conduct. In this year’s Tour any misconduct will be severely punished so if he realistically wants to win the green jersey he will have to be careful." He, or anyone else, could lose up to 60 points following a rule change.
The whole thing will be “a headache” for the team management, he said. “How are they going to coordinate the sprints for Cavendish so that he’s happy he has a good lead-out? How are they going to cope with Froome and Wiggins when they can’t ride in the lead-out for Cavendish? Then Cavendish’s lead-out man can’t ride for them. It’s going to be a nightmare for the management, I wouldn’t like to be them at all.”