Wiggins likely to defend Tour de France title

Last updated 07:32 14/12/2012
Wiggins
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BACK FOR MORE: Bradley Wiggins will focus on the Giro d'Italia this year and play a supporting role to teammate Chris Froome in the Tour de France.

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Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has not ruled out an attempt at retaining the title next year.

"As it stands, I'm probably going to try and win a second Tour de France, so I don't know, maybe we'll have two leaders (with Chris Froome)," the Team Sky rider, who became the first Briton to win the race, told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"We are resetting the goals, trying to win a second Tour de France, but you cannot replicate those circumstances. I accept that and am quite happy with that as you cannot have too many moments like that in your career," added Wiggins, the Olympic time trial gold medallist.

The 32-year-old had previously hinted he may play a supporting role to Froome in the 2013 Tour as the route, which has four mountain-top finishes and only 65-km of individual time trialing, is expected to suit his team mate better.

Froome, 27, finished runner up to Wiggins this year.

Meanwhile, Rabobank riders will compete under the name Blanco Pro Cycling Team next year after the Dutch bank decided to end its sponsorship because of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Rabobank will fund the team for the final year of their contract but the company logo and orange and blue colours will be missing from team jerseys. The team must find a new sponsor by the end of 2013 if it is to remain in the sport.

Bike maker Giant will remain a secondary sponsor of the team, Rabobank said.

"We will fulfil all financial obligations to the team in 2013," said Rabobank spokesman Hendrik Jan Eijpe.

"We have had contacts with several companies about taking over the sponsorship but nothing has been settled," he added.

The bank, which spends 15 million euros annually on cycling sponsorship, said in October that it would no longer support its men's professional team because it was not convinced the sport could guarantee a clean future.

Various initiatives have been announced in recent weeks to reform the sport, but Eijpe said Rabobank was not having second thoughts about dropping out after 17 years.

Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the US Anti-Doping Agency said he had taken part in an organised and sophisticated doping scheme on his way to success.

Rabobank has agreed to sponsor its women's team, led by Dutch Olympic champion Marianne Vos, until 2016, and will still back a team of emerging young riders.

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- Reuters

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