herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Froome Tour doubt as he seeks other challenges

Chris Froome (pictured) may opt out of the 2015 Tour de France and target a Giro d'Italia-Vuelta a Espana double instead.

The 29-year-old Kenya-born Briton won the 2013 Tour and crashed out of this year's race, which began in Yorkshire and was won by Vincenzo Nibali.

Rather than chase a second yellow jersey from Utrecht on July 4 to Paris on July 26, 2015 in the 102nd edition of the race, Froome may instead focus on May's Giro and August's Vuelta.

Froome was not in Paris for the presentation of the 3,344-kilometre route, the decisive moments of which will come on the penultimate stage which finishes at Alpe-d'Huez.

Instead he was sailing in Weymouth with the British Sailing squad on a Team Sky training camp and hinted he will not bid for the fabled maillot jaune next summer.

"The team and I will have to give it some careful consideration before we make any commitments to which of the grand tours I will compete in," he said on chris-froome.com.

"Next year's Tour is going to be about the mountains. There's very little emphasis on time-trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains.

"With six mountain-top finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race.

"I see myself as quite a balanced GC (general classification) rider and the Giro with it's inclusion of a long TT (time-trial) of 60km and tough uphill finishes will make it a well balanced race which suits me well. If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win."

It was anticipated the 2015 Tour would be a vintage edition, with Froome, Nibali, two-time winner Alberto Contador and Giro d'Italia winner Nairo Quintana all chasing the yellow jersey.

The absence of Froome, who has twice finished runner-up in the Vuelta, including behind Contador in 2014, would take the gloss off the race, but he sees other opportunities.

He added: "In the past I've only targeted one grand tour each season but it could be a good opportunity for me to focus seriously on two.

"It's still early days though and we'll have to sit down and put our heads together as a team to work out what 2015 is going to look like for us."

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