• Tour de France

Wiggins and Froome could team up for Tour

ESPN staff
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Chris Froome won the 2013 Tour de France © Getty Images
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Team Sky performance manager Rob Ellingworth has indicated Tour de France champions Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome could ride together in the 2014 race.

Ellingworth made no issue of the scenario that both 2012 winner Wiggins and this year's winner Froome might be saddled up for the Grand Départ in Leeds on July 5, admitting a team consisting of both riders is a real possibility.

The issue of having two lead riders who have both tasted Le Tour victory may prove problematic for a team, although Ellingworth stated Sky would be looking to field the strongest line-up possible.

"Of course it can happen. They can ride together," Ellingworth told The Guardian. "It's too early to say at the moment as we are in the middle of our review period but we need to put the nine best guys on the line.

"No one has a rite of passage, because of their past or because we like them. You would think that Brad in top form, Chris, Peter Kennaugh, Richie Porte and Sergio Henao would be a core group of top climbers.

"There is extra motivation for all the British riders with the start in Yorkshire, so you'd think that Brad, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and the other British lads would all want to ride the Tour.

"But I'd like to think all the riders in our team are capable of getting in the Tour, and no one rider is bigger than the team.

"We are going to take our time, and think hard about what is ahead of us. We will need to look at what might get in our way in next year's Tour - how much influence that cobbled stage will have, plus a couple of other days when there might be crosswinds.

"Climbing and time trialling are about fitness, and our lads are as fit as anybody, but there are challenges like the start in the UK and the distractions that will bring, the transfer to France, the cobbles."

Likewise, Froome has accepted he could be riding alongside Wiggins in the 101st edition of cycling's pinnacle race and insinuated it would not be troublesome.

"At the end of the day, the team's always going to select the nine strongest guys to go to the Tour with the best possible chance of winning it," Frooms said.

"If Bradley's in that nine or not would be for the performance team to decide, but I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be there."

The route for the 2014 race was confirmed on Wednesday, which includes a new cobbled stage to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

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