Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) has hinted that he may target victory at both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in 2013, using cycling's most difficult double as inspiration after his Tour de France and Olympic double this year.
Only seven riders have won the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same season: Fausto Coppi (1949, 1952), Jacques Anquetil (1964), Eddy Merckx (1970, 1972, 1974), Bernard Hinault (1982, 1985), Stephen Roche (1987), Miguel Indurain (1992, 1993) and Marco Pantani (1998).
Wiggins has admitted that it will be impossible to better his 2102 season but seems keen to target the double, while his big rivals are likely to focus on just one grand tour in 2013.
Wiggins would have to beat Vincenzo Nibali at the Giro d'Italia and Alberto Contador at the Tour de France but revealed he is up for the challenge after collecting the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
"I've always wanted to win a second Tour. I'm the defending champion. I want to try and win the Giro d'Italia and win the Tour de France behind it. People say it can't be done, winning two Tours. So let's have a go at it," the Guardian newspaper reported Wiggins as saying.
Wiggins had said he was keen to focus on the Giro d'Italia in 2013 and then support teammate Chris Froome at the Tour de France. On December 13 he changed his plans and told the BBC that he wanted to win a second Tour de France.
Brailsford: "The legs will do the talking"
Wiggins admitted that Team Sky team manager Dave Brailsford has the last word on the team's leadership strategy but does not seem afraid to challenge Froome for leadership.
Brailsford told the BBC that he was pleased to see that Wiggins was motivated and hungry for 2013. Brailsford was named coach of the year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.
"I was thrilled that [Wiggins has] got his appetite back. He's hungry and he wants it again."
"It's a problem I relish and we'll assess it as we get closer."
"We've certainly got some plans now, and as we move through the season, we'll use evidence and results as we move along."
"Chris is focusing on the Tour and if Bradley does ride the Giro [Tour of Italy in May], we'll have to see how he comes out of that, and assess the situation as you get close to the actual event."
"At the end of the day, the legs will do the talking."