Froome will replace Wiggins at the lead of Team Sky in next year's Tour de France


Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford says Chris Froome is set to lead the team's Tour de France 2013 challenge and not reigning champion Bradley Wiggins. Chris Froome was essential in the 2012 edition as he helped Wiggins win the Tour but it seems the pair will switch roles for next year's race. However, Brailsford said the plan had not "completely been signed off".

But the team boss added: "The Tour of Italy would be a very good target for Bradley and leave Froomy then to focus on the Tour de France." At this year's Tour de France, Froome finished second just behind Wiggins, who became the first British winner of the event. However, Froome looked stronger than Wiggins in most of the mountain stages and he was solid during the time-trial stages as well.

The 100th edition of the Tour de France, which runs from 29 June to 21 July next year, is likely to favour top climbers such as Kenyan-born Froome. That will give Wiggins the chance to focus on the Tour of Italy (Giro d'Italia), a race he loves. The Tour of Italy, which runs from 4-26 May, is a very tough race to win as it usually features very steep climbs.

You can already bet on which rider will win next year's Tour de France, here are the odds for the top 10 favourites from Bet365:

Alberto Contador - 10/11
Chris Froome - 5/2
Andy Schleck - 10/1
Bradley Wiggins - 11/1
Joaquin Rodriguez - 15/1
Cadel Evans - 15/1
Alejandro Valverde - 18/1
Tejay Van Garderen - 33/1
Ryder Hesjedal - 33/1
Vincenzo Nibali - 33/1

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