Cycling: Oman win boosts Chris Froome's confidence


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The Independent Online

Chris Froome believes his maiden stage race victory in the Tour of Oman proves Sky are right to back him as team leader over Bradley Wiggins for the Tour de France and that he can ride to triumph on the Champs-Elysées.

Froome, second overall in last year's Tour behind team-mate and compatriot Wiggins, won the fifth stage in Oman ahead of double Tour champion Alberto Contador, who took second place overall. Saturday's sixth and final stage was won by French champion Nacer Bouhanni as Froome secured his first major stage race victory.

"I would say that it's showing that I'm worth backing, but I think it helps build my confidence," Froome told Cycling Weekly. "It helps build the team's confidence, my team-mates around me and the support staff, knowing that they're actually backing a horse that can win."

Wiggins was a member of Froome's support team in Oman alongside Tour domestiques Richie Porte and Christian Knees and new Sky signings Dario Cataldo and Vasil Kiryienka.

"It's quite a daunting feeling knowing that everyone is there for you," Froome added. "Being able to finish it off, winning a stage... I know that's the main goal, that's what everyone here is working for, the fact that I can finish it off like that makes it all worth it. All of us will come away with a smile on our faces."