Tadej Pogacar will not allow sentiment to hold him back as he seeks to secure Tour de France glory at the expense of friend and compatriot Primoz Roglic.
The Slovenian duo are leading the way this year with Roglic in yellow, 40 seconds ahead of Pogacar, who has the honour of the young rider's white jersey after winning stage 15.
With Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team setting a blistering pace across many of the stages so far, he looks best placed to take the title from Egan Bernal after the Team INEOS rider cracked on Sunday to fall well off the pace.
But 21-year-old Pogacar, who looks up to the man nine years his senior, is dreaming of standing atop the podium in Paris himself.
"We [he and Roglic] have a good relationship, but on the road we all want to win every time because this is cycling, this is sport and everyone wants to win," the UAE Team Emirates rider said.
"So, yes, on the road we respect each other. I look up to him, he's a really strong guy, a good rider.
"I have a lot of respect for him, but if I can win I will take the opportunity.
"Jumbo-Visma is the strongest team this year probably, especially this Tour, but we also have a strong team. We are confident and if we can take some time that would be perfect.
"The battle for yellow is not finished, but I cannot tell you exactly how we are going to fight for it because then there's no surprise."
Speaking during the Tour's second rest day, Pogacar was asked if he could have envisaged finding himself in this position.
"No, not really," he replied. "Before the start of the Tour I was confident in my shape, I knew that I was prepared.
"But to be here on the second rest day with two stages and second in the GC [general classification] with the white jersey, it's a little bit hard to believe if someone would have said that to me.
"But now we are here and we will fight to the end."