Manchester-based Bradley Wiggins backs Chris Froome ahead of World Championship road race title tilt

By Scott Hunt

Tour de France champion Chris Froome will have the help and verbal backing of Manchester-based Olympic time-trial winner Sir Bradley Wiggins for Sunday’s World Championships slugfest in Italy.

While Wiggins has stopped short of saying he and Froome have become friends after the pair stopped talking over the Team Sky leadership for the Tour de France in July, the Englishman will give his all to ensure his compatriot gets over the line first in Florence.

Also on Froome’s side, as he seeks to become the first rider for 24 years since American Greg LeMond to complete the double of the Tour and world title, will be 2011 world champion Mark Cavendish and Wiggins is looking forward to another shot at a British gold after helping the speedster Manxman to glory two years ago.

“Obviously Chris is the team leader and we’ll all have a role to play. Chris has definitely got a good chance. He’s the Tour de France winner,” Wiggins told the Telegraph.

“I rode the World’s last year and it was just making up the numbers and didn’t finish, so it will be nice to be there in this form and really be able to do a job like two years ago,” Wiggins added after his Tour of Britain win on Sunday.

Cavendish, usually the focus of team efforts which deliver him to a perfect sprint finish, put in a brilliantly unselfish performance at last year’s Tour de France when Wiggins topped the podium and he said Froome was their sole focus.

“We’re going in with one plan, to set Chris up,” Cavendish told the BBC.

“He has a super chance. He’s in good form and we’re in a good position to try and challenge for the win.

“If we didn’t think we had a really good chance, we’d be going in with more than one plan.”

The course should suit Team Sky rider Froome, with over 58km of climbs around the 270-km course, which will allow the Briton to display his renowned endurance and power.

Froome captained Team Sky to bronze in the mens team time-trial last weekend and is determined to go two better on Sunday.

“I’ll do all I can to be up there,” Froome told Cycling weekly.

Froome will also be helped by Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard, a strong setup which ranks the British team among the favourites.

Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali, riding on home soil, is also among the favourites while Spain’s leader is twice Tour de France winner Alberto Contador.

Image courtesy of Sapin88, with thanks.

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