TOUR de France leader Bradley Wiggins has vowed to help Team Sky colleague Chris Froome win the yellow jersey - but first is trying to do it himself in Paris on Sunday.
Wiggins, who finished a British best of fourth in the 2009 Tour, was set to take a lead of two minutes five seconds into the final five days of racing, when the race was set to resume with today’s 197-kilometre route from Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon.
Froome was the rider in second place and is considered by many to be the superior climber.
The 99th Tour features over 100km of time-trials, a discipline in which Wiggins is imperious, but the 100th Tour is anticipated to feature more climbing than ever before.
As team leader, Wiggins has the support this month, but in a year’s time, he could be riding in support of Froome.
Wiggins said: “What we do well is we race as a team. That’s why we’re in this position now.
“I am surrounded by incredibly talented bike riders - including Chris Froome.
“The guy is capable of winning the Tour for sure, otherwise he wouldn’t be second overall, and he will win this race one day and I will be there to support him doing that.
“We’ve proved on the road that there isn’t a problem.”
As for the 2013 Tour, which begins in Corsica, with the full route still to be revealed, Wiggins will put the team first.
“Whatever happens, I am part of this team and always want to be part of it to the end of my career,” he said.
“I was the one given the role to lead the team at this year’s Tour and I took the responsibility.
“What is important is the team succeeds, otherwise there is no point in me being in the team if it’s all about me. “I am the face of it but it’s never just been about me.”
Froome will be an integral figure if Wiggins is to become the first British winner.
Froome said: “I can definitely sense in my future that I might be given the opportunity to try to lead a team myself one day.
“That is something to think about for the future, at the moment I am thinking about nothing else but the next five days.
“It’s way too early to start thinking about next year, I just want to finish this Tour.
“Everybody in the team is making personal sacrifices for the better of the team, that’s what we have been doing, it seems to be working, why stop doing that?”