Cycling: 2012 Tour route favours Wiggins and Froome
A key member of Team Sky's management said that the 2012 Tour de France route, unveiled yesterday in Paris, could benefit both the squad's long-standing overall contender Bradley Wiggins and his British team-mate Chris Froome, whose second place in the recent Tour of Spain surprised both himself and his team.
The 2012 Tour route will feature 96.1 km of individual time trialling – the strongest suit of both veteran Wiggins and the inexperienced Froome – compared to just 51.4 km this year.
"On paper, it's good for both of them," Sky's sports director Sean Yates told The Independent. "Froomey has to show he can time-trial in France the way he did in the Tour of Spain and though I personally believe he can and that's why we've kept him [under contract], that's yet to be confirmed. But we're already in a good place because we know that Bradley ought to do well with so much time trialling."
While out-and-out climbers – such as Andy Schleck – are likely to be unhappy at a route heavy with time trials, Sky's new signing, Mark Cavendish, said the total of seven probable bunch sprint stages was "normal".
Schleck's and the other climbers' best chance to shine comes on the daunting stage 11, featuring just 15 km of flat racing and four major Alpine cols culminating in a shallow but steady ascent to La Toussuire ski station.
There is potential for ambushes, too, with stages in the little-used Vosges mountain range in the first week and the notorious Col du Grand Colombier in stage 10.
Apart from Sky, other riders who will be pleased with the route will be Alberto Contador – there is no team time trial, where his Saxo Bank squad looked vulnerable this year – and defending champion Cadel Evans, another strong time trialler.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
Manchester United have two days to seal the transfer of the summer, Arsenal need to panic, Jose Mourinho right to blast Chelsea reluctance
Celtic supporters mock Fenerbahce fans' threatening 'knife' pictures with their own versions - featuring spoons and bananas
Swansea 2 Manchester United 1 player ratings: Was Andre Ayew the Swans' star man or did Bafetimbi Gomis steal the show?
Anthony Martial to Manchester United: United 'open talks' with £36m Monaco striker as Javier Hernandez joins Bayer Leverkusen
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...