Wiggins out to repay Cavendish
Bradley Wiggins is hoping to repay Mark Cavendish by helping the Manxman to victory on the Champs-Elysees and at the Olympics.
Cavendish has spent much of his first Tour de France for Team Sky riding in support of team-mate Wiggins, who is currently on track to become the first British rider to win the race.
The situation is a stark contrast to Cavendish's previous Tour campaigns, where he has invariably had a team built around him and enjoyed an extensive sprint train.
The 27-year-old still managed to claim one victory in the opening week, but has otherwise seen his chances reduced over the first 15 stages of this year's event.
And Wiggins is planning to show his gratitude by leading his compatriot out on the final stage in Paris, while Britain's Olympic road race squad is set to be devoted to Cavendish's bid for gold.
"Mark has been fantastic these last two and a half weeks," said Wiggins, who holds a lead of two minutes and five seconds over team-mate Chris Froome.
"He's been so committed to my cause - to the yellow jersey - and he's a great champion and a great friend.
"Obviously there is still the stage to Paris for him and we're going to lay it down in Paris for him and try and get him the win there.
"He's also got the Olympic road race which he's been quite open about. That's his main objective this year.
"It's a shame that he hasn't had the chance to race for more stage wins but in the end we've got a difficult task on our hands to try and win the yellow jersey.
"So far, he's played a big part in that. We've seen him going back for bottles and (on stage 14) he tried really hard to get over that first climb with us. He's also been an absolute gentleman this week."
Wiggins and the rest of the peloton enjoy a rest day on Tuesday before two pivotal days in the Pyrenees on Wednesday and Thursday.
The 32-year-old has passed all the climbing tests so far and also has a 53.5km time-trial on Saturday to look forward to, but he is staying grounded despite closing in on an historic victory.
He added: "I always think if you start looking too far ahead you forget what's in front of you."