Team Sky chief Dave Brailsford has confirmed Chris Froome will lead the team at the Tour de France.
Froome’s leadership had been called into question by defending champion Bradley Wiggins, who last week said he wanted to win both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2013.
That prompted Froome to issue a statement reasserting his leadership but Brailsford has now moved to end speculation over the team’s number one rider for the Tour, ruling out Wiggins’ suggestion that the squad may go into July’s race with two leaders.
“As always the team selection is a management decision and it will be evidence-based,” said Brailsford. “However it is crucial there is clarity of purpose and for that reason we will go to the Tour with one leader.”
“Taking that into consideration and given Chris’ step up in performances this year, our plan, as it has been since January is to have him lead the Tour de France team.”
Froome has enjoyed a fine 2013 to date, winning the Tour of Oman, Criterium International and Tour de Romandie, and the 27-year-old will fine-tune his Tour de France preparation at the Criterium du Dauphine in June.
The 100th edition of the Tour de France starts on June 29 in Corsica and follows a mountainous route which includes some of the race’s most fables climbs, including Mont Ventoux on stage 15, and Froome was in France last week to recce the stage.
Wiggins, meanwhile, sits second overall at the Giro d’Italia after stage three, where he is bidding to add a second Grand Tour to his palmares having become the first Brit to win the Tour de France last July.
Brailsford added: “We’re in a fantastic position – we have two of the best GC riders in the world and they are both great racers with a competitive will to win.
“Since the start of season, Bradley’s performance plan has focused around training specifically to try and win the Giro and then ride the Tour, whilst Chris’ has been focused on attempting to win the Tour.
“Now we’re here – the Giro has started and Bradley has done a brilliant job of getting in the best-possible condition for his assault on the race.”