Dave Brailsford targets Tour de France and 2012 Games

British cycling chief Dave Brailsford expects his riders to compete in next year's Tour de France, despite it finishing just 10 days before the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Star rider Bradley Wiggins suffered a broken collarbone  in a crash in this year's Tour, while Juan Antonio Flecha was sideswiped by a television car. 

But Brailsford said: "Logically, I'd expect my riders to compete in both.

"It'd probably be the best preparation they could have [ahead of the Games]."

The incident involving Flecha, which resulted in the television car being excluded by Tour organisers for the remainder of the race, could yet prompt legal action, Brailsford has said.

However, despite the incidents and potential dangers of the Tour, Brailsford would be happy for his road racers to gear up for the Olympics as part of the race.

"The road racers like Mark Cavendish and these guys race on a very, very frequent basis, so those guys would expect to come out of the Tour in great shape. Racing 10 days later [after the finish of the Tour] wouldn't be a problem.

Ideally, we'll do both the Tour and the Games. But if there has to be a choice, the focus will be very much on the Games.

Dave Brailsford

"For them, it would be a big 'yes' [to racing in the Tour]. For the track racers, we'd have to think much more carefully about what would be best for their preparation."

Brailsford did concede, though, that the Olympics are his priority going forward.

The Team Sky principal said: "The Olympic Games is the priority [compared to the Tour] next year.

"The Tour de France is an annual event - albeit the biggest in cycling - so we're very, very respectful of that. But 2012 is a once in a lifetime event and there is a big, big opportunity for a British rider and a British team to make sure we're the best prepared we can be for that event.

"Ideally, we'll do both the Tour and the Games. But if there has to be a choice, the focus will be very much on the Games. That's what our partners Sky want us to do and that's what's been clear from day one - it's never been an issue.

"Actually, what the professional cycling team has allowed us to do is for me to monitor and control the racing programmes, coaching and development of all the British riders.

"Previously I've had to haggle with all the other professional teams who are paying salaries to their riders to ride their races, and they weren't particularly interested in releasing them to the national squads to go and score some Olympic points or compete in a World Cup in Kazakhstan or some place."