Updated: 20/07/2012 16:36 | By pa.press.net

Roche backs Wiggins for Tour victory



Bradley Wiggins continues to lead the way at the Tour de France, AP

Bradley Wiggins continues to lead the way at the Tour de France, AP

Five days of racing stand between Bradley Wiggins and Tour de France glory and Stephen Roche, the champion 25 years ago, finds it difficult to see beyond the Briton as winner of the yellow jersey in Paris on Sunday.

Wiggins will begin Wednesday's 197-kilometre 16th stage from Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon with an advantage of two minutes five seconds over Team Sky colleague Chris Froome, with the nearest hostile rival Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 2mins 23secs adrift.

Two Pyrenees stages and Saturday's 53.5km time-trial to Chartres will decide the Tour winner - and Wiggins is imperious against the clock.

Hotchillee ambassador and 1987 Tour champion Roche said: "Nibali has to gain at least four minutes now on Bradley to win the Tour.

"He needs two minutes, at least, going into the time-trial.

"Without spoiling the suspense, the guys that are there I can't see them putting Bradley in difficulty, unless he has a really, really bad day."

Although only 3:19 adrift in fourth, defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) is out of contention, according to Roche.

Roche said: "I don't think he has the condition to put Bradley in difficulty."

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