Sutton: Wiggins needs to support a Froome-led Sky at Tour de France

Team Sky's performance advisor, Shane Sutton has urged Bradley Wiggins to support Chris Froome in his bid for the 2013 Tour de France.

Wiggins was forced to leave the Giro d'Italia through illness, saying he would aim "to being back to full strength for the Tour" which he won last season.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Sutton said that Froome, winner of the Tour of Oman, the Critérium International, and Tour of Romandie so far this year deserves to be the team's nominated leader for the French Grand Tour.

"I think that, at this moment in time, you base it on the evidence before you and Froome will be the nominated rider," he said. "Bradley will just have to settle for a support role. Froome has won continually this year. I think just about every race he has ridden he has won. Brad hasn't had a win since last August so I think the team will very much be getting behind Chris, as Chris did with Brad last year."

Leadership of the team for the Tour has been a source of speculation since Froome appeared to attack Wiggins during last year's edition of the race on Stage 11. Earlier this month, after Wiggins suggested he had aspirations for the Giro-Tour double, forcing Froome to issue a personal statement claiming that he was to be the leader in July and that he had the full backing of the team, Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford confirmed that the Grand Boucle was indeed for the Kenyan-born Briton.

"If Brad is riding the Tour and is over his illnesses and whatever, he will have to get behind the team," said Sutton. "I think, if we can get that good dynamic environment in there for us and they can forget the past, we can push for another win in the Tour."


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