Tour route tough for Wiggins
The 2013 Tour de France route was announced on Wednesday and it will not lend itself to Bradley Wiggins staking a claim for consecutive wins.
With more mountainous stages and only 65km of individual time-trials, the 100th edition of the Tour will be a different challenge to this year's event.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme revealed a 3,360-kilometre, 21-stage route, which takes place entirely in France, beginning on Corsica on June 21 and finishing under floodlights on the most famous boulevard in Paris on July 21.
The decisive blows in the battle for the yellow jersey in 2013 could come on the 18th stage, which for the first time features two ascents of the 21-turn Alpe-d'Huez in a race which incorporates all the fabled climbs.
Team Sky have been coy on suggestions Wiggins will not even be gunning for the Tour title next year, and the 32-year-old admitted he could change targets.
"If everything goes to plan and I get the nod to do the Giro, that's what is going to happen," he told Eurosport.
"I'm a great historian of the sport and I'd like to win a pink jersey (for the Giro winner) to go with the yellow one.
"I haven't got that much of an ego. It was always about winning one Tour de France for me and I'm proud of the way that I did it."
The opening three stages will be the first held on the island of Corsica, and Prudhomme revealed it was a simple decision to make.
"For this 100th edition we wanted a place that was beautiful," he said.
"A spectacular start? Yes, and the second and third stages are great for riders to express themselves.
"It is the first time since 1966 that a sprinter will have the chance to hold the yellow jersey after stage one."
Jean-Etienne Amaury, the chairman of Amaury Sport Organisation who run the Tour, was equally as excited about celebrating the 100th hosting with a spectacular event.
"We will be sharing 100 years of athletic feats, 100 years that all tell different stories," he said.
"The Tour de France in 2013 is a worldwide event, broadcast in over 190 countries and attracting millions of spectators - ASO is extremely proud to make the Tour de France shine throughout the world."