Chris Froome does not expect a fall-out with Geraint Thomas to the extent he experienced with Bradley Wiggins and has backed his Team Sky team-mate to secure a podium finish in the Tour de France this year.
Thomas looked set for a top-10 finish as he played a supporting role to eventual champion Froome in the 2015 Tour until his race came to an end on stage 19, but the Welshman has set his sights on at least a top-three finish in the 2016 edition.
Froome and Wiggins were embroiled in a feud when they were Team Sky colleagues during the Tours in 2012 and 2013, but the Kenya-born Brit is not concerned that his relationship with Thomas will suffer if they are both challenging for the general classification.
"I find it very hard to see things with G going that way, I think just both of our characters - we're both honest and open with each other." said Froome, who signed a contract extension until 2018 on Tuesday.
"In every team you have those little arguments and I think that it's only healthy to have those and you talk about what you think you can be doing better.
"He's not a threat, definitely, but it's good for me that there is someone there snapping at my heels and if I'm not up to delivering the goods then someone else will. It always helps to have two guys up there on GC and it changes things tactically when you're up there on a climb."
When asked if Thomas can finish in the top three in the 2016 Tour, Froome said: "That would be the dream scenario. I think that G is lifting his game more and more in terms of stage racing.
"Last year people asked if he could also get onto the podium and he wasn't far off, he was a few days short of Paris and he was still in the top five.
"I don't see why it's not possible. He can definitely do it, he's got the ability and it's up to him to put the work in."