Sky superdomestique sticks to plan despite superior form
If there was anyone still hoping that Bradley Wiggins' most important helper and the second-placed rider on GC, Chris Froome, would be ignoring team orders and take advantage of his excellent form to attack the yellow jersey in the world's biggest bike race, the Briton put an end to that hypothesis on the Tour de France's second rest day. During Sky's press conference, held in blistering heat outside of the team hotel in Pau, at the foot of the Pyrenees, Froome appeared decidedly obedient to the British squad's initial plan to take Wiggins to the Tour title, declining any form of rebellion.
Speaking of his truncated attack on the last ascent of stage 11 to La Toussuire, he reiterated his complete loyalty to Wiggins and his team. "We're here to achieve something, and we're on course for that," Froome said. "It made no sense for me to jeopardize that or to carry on when it could have put Brad [Wiggins] in jeopardy.
"Anyone in a team position has to make personal sacrifices for the sake of the team, and that's what we've been doing so far, and it seems to be working for us. So, why stop doing that?" the Kenyan-born cyclist asked.
Despite his excellent shape, which many seem to assess as superior to Wiggins', he did not make it seem that his decision had been an easy one, but stressed that he was looking forward to building on his experience to win the Tour de France in due time.
"In my future, I might be given the opportunity to try and lead a team myself one day," Froome said. "But again, for now, we just need to focus on what we're doing here and achieve the goals we have here. I'm 27 at the moment, so hopefully I should still have a good 10 years of racing. I do see myself as a future Tour winner, that's what I aspire to become one day."
The stage race specialist acknowledged that while other riders decline over the course of three weeks of racing, he is able to find his best form in the last week of a Grand Tour, peaking just at the right moment. "I knew before the race that I was in very similar form, if not in better form, than at the Vuelta last year. These last few days, I've actually been feeling super, probably the best sensations I've had since the start of the Tour. Now, I'm really looking forward to this last week, to getting it all done... done and dusted."
But Froome did not want to say whether he could imagine a swap of leadership at his team next year. Asked whether he'd be happy to work for Wiggins again in 2013, he answered, "If it's the same course and we find ourselves in the same situation again, yes, definitely."