Froome ready to lead Team Sky at the Tour de France

Chris Froome has called on Team Sky to make a rapid decision on if he will lead the British team in the 2013 Tour de France.

Following the unveiling of the 2013 route in Paris, this year Bradley Wiggins moved quickly to say that he would prefer to target the Giro d'Italia in 2013 and perhaps support Chris Froome in the centenary edition of the Tour de France.

Froome stayed more on message when speaking to the media in Paris but after his impressive second place in 2012 but wasn't afraid to throw his hat in the ring for the role of designated team leader for Le Tour.

"I don't know. You're going to have to ask Dave Brailsford that," Froome told the media scrum in Paris when asked.

"It's something I'd like to do but as a team we have to decide what the best tactic will be for that. All I can say, is that if I was to target the Tour a 100% next year, then I'd do everything I could to be on the top step in Paris."

Team Sky held its first winter get together last week in London but with the team focused on its zero tolerance policy against doping, little has been revealed about their big objectives for 2013.

Froome would like to know soon, so he can plan his winter training and 2013 race calendar.

"It's something we're going to have to decide fairly soon," Froome said.

"I think we should decide over the winter what we are going to target, so we can start training accordingly and start entering the right races and the right programmes."

"I'd love to go to a Grand Tour like the Tour, with the team completely behind me, and with me in absolute race fitness. But we've got to go away and decide if that really is the best option for the Tour and plan from there."

Froome liked the tough route he saw unveiled in Paris but asked for more time to sit down ad study it in detail.

"It's definitely a very challenging route. It's going to suit the climbers very well but the contenders are going to have to be riders who can hold their own in time trial too," he said.

"I'm going to have to go away and study the course more carefully. There are going to be some very testing stages, especially towards the end of the race. I think stages 17, 18 and 19, with two mountain top finishes and a time trial there and Ventoux too. It's going to be an action packed Tour."

Show the sport has cleaned up

Froome was also quizzed about the doping scandals and the consequences of the USADA investigation on cycling. He admitted he had only read reports in the media and not spent time studying the USADA documents.

"Everyone knows that era did have problems but I'm blown away by the extent that they're now being revealed," he said.

Asked if things are different now, Froome said: "I'd like to think so, but unfortunately history shows us otherwise, that every time people say 'OK, now the sport is doing the right thing,' it seems to let people down again."

"I just hope that through our performances that we can show that the sport has cleaned up and that cycling really is one of the cleanest sports in the world. It's only because we're doing so much to combat doping that there is so much negative press around at the moment.

"It’s good that all the questions about that time are being answered, that we can move on from that era. I think a lot of different teams will deal with it in other ways, but I think the main thing is to try and be as open as possible with the public and show the methods we are using to get results were are [getting] now and that they're not going to be results that will be stripped in years to come."

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