Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France, has a battle on his hands to retain the yellow jersey next year after the 2013 Tour route was unveiled in Paris.
The 32-year-old became the first Briton to win the Tour de France this year, holding off Sky team-mate Chris Froome to take the title on the Champs Elysees.
But 2013's route looks to favour specialist climbers, with three more categorised climbs overall than last year's route, including a gruelling 168km Stage 18 in which the peloton will have to climb l'Alpe d'Huez twice.
In addition, there will be three consecutive mountain stages immediately before the final stage in the French capital, rather than the usual time-trial at which Wiggins excels.
Early indications of a mountainous 2013 Tour have led many to tip the likes of Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, and even Wiggins' Sky team-mate Froome as more likely potential winners.
The Tour also visits the island of Corsica for the first time in its history on Stage 1, while the individual time-trial on Stage 11 will take in the picturesque setting of the Normandy coast and Mont St Michel.
It remains to be seen how Sky will approach the race strategically. Ahead of the route presentation, Dave Brailsford told Sky Sports: "We had the first and second-placed riders in last year's Tour and it puts us in an interesting position for sure going in to next year's planning.
"Bradley is the reigning champion but the whole excitement about today is to see what the course is like and that will dictate our plans for the team next year.
"Once we have established what the course is like then we'll make sure we lay our resources to the best of our ability so that a Team Sky jersey is the best placed to cross the line or win the race overall.
"It's not about one rider or another but about the team, to put our best team out to try and win the race."
Mark Cavendish won the final stage for a fourth successive occasion in Paris but his spell at Sky lasted just one year and he announced his plans to join Omega Pharma-QuickStep last week.
Brailsford confirmed the team were solely focused on the yellow jersey, adding: "That's the plan.
"Mark did a brilliant job for us but from a sporting perspective it is only fair Mark has a team dedicated to him for sprints.
"Likewise if you are going to sacrifice that, if you are going to sacrifice the best sprinter in the world, you are going to do that with the view of trying to win the race overall."
Brailsford now expects Team Sky to be the team everyone wants to beat, saying: "Without a doubt. When you set the standard people want to try and knock you off the perch.
"It's a great position to be in and now it is a question of sustaining that."
The stages for the 2013 Tour de France:
June 29: 1st stage - Porto-Vecchio - Bastia, 212 km
June 30: 2nd stage - Bastia - Ajaccio, 154 km
July 1: 3rd stage - Ajaccio - Calvi, 145 km
July 2: 4th stage - Nice - Nice, 25 km (team time-trial)
July 3: 5th stage - Cagnes-sur-Mer - Marseille, 219 km
July 4: 6th stage - Aix-en-Provence - Montpellier, 176 km
July 5: 7th stage - Montpellier - Albi, 205 km
July 6: 8th stage - Castres - Ax-3 Domaines, 194 km
July 7: 9th stage - Saint-Girons - Bagnhres-de-Bigorre, 165 km
July 8: rest day at Saint-Nazaire
July 9: 10th stage - Saint-Gildas-des-Bois - Saint-Malo, 193 km
July 10: 11th stage - Avranche - Mont-Saint-Michel, 33 km (Individual time-trial)
July 11: 12th stage - Foughres - Tours, 218 km
July 12: 13th stage - Tours - Saint-Amand-Montrond, 173 km
July 13: 14th stage - Saint-Pourgain-sur-Sioule - Lyon, 191 km
July 14: 15th stage - Givors - Mont Ventoux, 242 km
July 15: rest day in the Vaucluse
July 16: 16th stage - Vaison-la-Romaine - Gap, 168 km
July 17: 17th stage - Embrun - Chorges, 32 km (Individual time-trial)
July 18: 18th stage - Gap - Alpe d'Huez, 168 km
July 19: 19th stage - Bourg-d'Oisans - Le Grand-Bornand, 204 km
July 20: 20th stage - Annecy - Annecy-Semnoz, 125 km
July 21: 21st stage - Versailles - Paris Champs-Elysies, 118 km
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