Tour de France 2014: Sky prepare to overlook Sir Bradley Wiggins as Chris Froome's No 2

Richie Porte will support the 2013 winner in the Critérium du Dauphiné

Team Sky has offered a hint that they will bow to Chris Froome's wishes to name Richie Porte as his No 2 for the Tour de France instead of Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Sky announced that Porte would support Froome in the Critérium du Dauphiné as a warm-up for the Tour while Wiggins would instead race in the Tour de Suisse.

Froome and Wiggins have a frosty relationship and recent speculation has suggested that 2012 Tour champion Wiggins, who was unable to defend his crown last year due to injury, may fail to make Sky's Tour squad despite the 34-year-old saying he was happy to play second fiddle to Froome, who won last year's yellow jersey in his absence.

Wiggins is a two-time winner of the Dauphiné and his being left out of the squad for the race could be viewed as a snub, although it is true that the Tour de Suisse will better suit the Briton this year as it features two time trials, his speciality.

Froome will defend his title at the Dauphiné, which starts on Sunday and is seen as a major marker ahead of the Tour, while Wiggins will start the Tour de Suisse six days later.

"Both the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse are WorldTour events and we are looking to perform in both races," Sky principal Dave Brailsford said. "Bradley heads to Switzerland with a strong team after a great win in California and we've got the right group for the Dauphiné, especially considering the nature of the course."

Richie Porte, left, is likely to be Chris Froome's No 2 for the Tour de France (Getty) Richie Porte, left, is likely to be Chris Froome's No 2 for the Tour de France (Getty)
Froome will be supported by Porte, Vasil Kiryienka, David Lopez, Mikel Nieve, Danny Pate, Geraint Thomas and Xabier Zandio in a squad that is expected to be strong in the mountains, while Wiggins will team up with Joe Dombrowski, Christian Knees, Luke Rowe, Dario Cataldo, Philip Deignan, Ben Swift and Pete Kennaugh.

Froome suggested on Monday he would prefer Porte as his No 2 as he seeks to defend his yellow jersey.

PA

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