Stephen Roche insists Bradley Wiggins is capable of replicating his 1987 feat of winning the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year.
Wiggins has stated his intention to aim for the historic double despite a possible conflict of interests with his Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome.
Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford has continued to state his team will pick the form rider to lead the team in the showpiece races.
But HotChillee ambassador Roche believes Wiggins is a good bet to win the daunting double providing any political issues are worked out in his favour.
Roche said: “It’s quite ambitious, but then Bradley is ambitious. Bradley is quite capable of it and if he puts his mind to it, very capable of it. But there’s an awful lot of things to take into consideration.
“If he wins the Giro, going into the Tour it will give him peace of mind, knowing he’s already won a big tour and it will take a lot of pressure off him. And he hasn’t got to win it (the Tour) because Chris Froome can win it.”
Since Wiggins won the 2012 Tour, with Froome the runner-up, debate has raged over who will lead Team Sky’s assault in the 100th edition of the race, which begins in Corsica on June 29.
The leadership decision may be delayed until part way through the Tour and Roche believes Team Sky could start with two leaders and allow events to determine the hierarchy.
Roche added: “It will be the road itself which opens up to whomever is the strongest.
“From what we’ve seen of Froome, this year’s Tour will suit him more than Bradley.
“Bradley’s going in there with the opposition thinking about Froome, so he can let Froome take all the responsibility and hope it will turn in his favour.
“A lot will depend on if Bradley can win the Giro. If he doesn’t win the Giro, it will change everything.
“If he doesn’t win the Giro, he’ll want to win the Tour at any cost.”