If you were Chris Froome

by millskid   July 12, 2012  

would you consider leaving sky? He is 27 and could win the Tour De France. However, while Wiggins 32 (could easily have 3 more years) is around Froome wont get the chance to go for it. Last year he should have won the vuelta, however due to team orders he had to wait for Wiggins.

If I were him, I would have a meeting at the end of the season and set out my ambitions. I.E team leader for at least the Giro.

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Who wouldn't be tempted to do that?! But Froome looks to be smart enough on the road to have worked out he is better off waiting for three years as a Super Dom, building up some smaller victories and stages, than by attacking his own team mate and jeopardising the risk of teams wanting to take him on. As long as he doesn't begun to say that Wiggo only wins "small, shit races" a la Cavendish and Greipel, I reckon he'll be fine, and a GT winner in the future, if not in the Tour

posted by OmegaPharmaSlow... [9 posts]
12th July 2012 - 23:26

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The thing that bothers me is. Wiggo's going nowhere without Froome and Vice Versa, Look at the results of them while they have been at Sky together.

Not that i've actually looked, but just thinking, So if it comes a time when Froome is given the nod by the team, say Giro or Vuelta, lets face it, as long as Wiggo is around, he's going to be number 1 in TdF. So if Froome gets the nod, Will Wiggo be around to dom for Froome?? Thinking

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
13th July 2012 - 0:40

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I think it would be hard to have such a change in dynamic without some serious shake ups elswehere. For Wiggins and Froome, they may work well together, and may not have success apart, but I don't think they would have success if they switched places all of a sudden. Imagine being the boss one day, your employee gets promoted above you, and suddenly everything changes, nothing will remain the same, it won't just be a minor shift

posted by OmegaPharmaSlow... [9 posts]
13th July 2012 - 0:53

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I think there's a massive underestimation of Wiggo here. froome clearly has the same sort of talent as Wiggo, if not a little more punch in the climbs, but wiggo has dragged back all the attacks so far in the mountains. Froome doesn't have the pressure that the maillot jeune brings, he can zip off the front for a few hundred yards and it doesn't matter. Far too many conclusions being jumped to - winning the GC in le tour isn't about attacking, it's about consistency, has been for years. Not necessarily the way we'd want it, but that's the way it is. And credit where it's due, Evans tried and failed to break Wiggo, so did Nibali. It broke Cuddles, and Wiggo came right back at Nibbles.

Could froome do it better? No doubt, we will see in the tours to come. But not this one. Let's just rejoice in the talent on display.

posted by bashthebox [640 posts]
13th July 2012 - 1:25

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Are you actually watching the live or highlights bashthebox??

Wiggo isn't doing all this dragging back. He's following guys like EBH, Porte, Rogers and Froome up and down the stages, They set the tempo for him, he just has to keep pace.....

Omega, I think Froome has shown enough loyalty in a few different races now to Wiggo, that once he's got his TdF win, he'd be willing to help Froome to something ELSE, Vuelta or Giro. Not this year though because of the Olympics Wink

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
13th July 2012 - 1:31

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Would be good if Sky could send a 100% climbing team(Wiggo,FROOME, Uran, Heano, Nordhuag, Flecha ETC) to Vuelta this year and leave Cav at home, really wanna see Contandor put under pressure Devil he's gonna be like a wild horse stuck in a box. Because it's gonna be very boring otherwise Yawn

'Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you'

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posted by livestrongnick [1789 posts]
13th July 2012 - 9:22

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I think bashthebox has a point, perhaps we are reading to much into Froome's attack. We all know Wiggins is not a jumpy rider and Froome can be. That is how Sky are winning this tour, riding threshold up the climbs and having a bigger threshold than the competition, that is Wiggins strength. It would have been interesting to see if Froome had carried on if Wiggins would have clawed them back, we will never know.

I wonder whether now a good Sky tactic would be for Froome to shadow Nibali (though I guess he would struggle on the descents). If Nibali engineers a great attack Froome will stay with him and ahead of him on gc and if Nibali attacks and fails Wiggins strengthens his position in yellow.

posted by Manx Rider [18 posts]
13th July 2012 - 10:00

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A lot of hot air based on Froome apparently pulling away on one climb? Wiggins is the better rider. If I was Froome, I'd make sure I used all my ability to support the team leader so that when contract renewal time comes up I'd get offered a much improved contract. And put a bit of trust in Brailsford to recognise and take advantage of my strengths.

posted by paulfg42 [374 posts]
14th July 2012 - 22:22

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Contract renewal time?? He only just signed a 3 year contract after the Vuelta last year, so he's still got over 2 years to go on that.

Wiggins is no better a rider than Froome, as will be shown in the future and if chat coming out of France is anything to go by, maybe even by the end of the tour Wink

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
14th July 2012 - 23:25

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Can't see Wiggo doing the Vuelta given comments reported elsewhere by him. Froome will have many more chances to win GT's including the TdF, and sure Dave B already realises this and will be planning for it.

Hope other teams including Sky take it to Saxo/Contador in the Vuelta as can't see Andy being fit enough to challenge, if he takes any part in it.

Wiggo to stay as #1 for this TdF unless something happens to him.

Beginner roadie, purely for pleasure. Loving those Shropshire lanes Smile Riding from London to Brussels via Amsterdam for charity in May. 2013

posted by lob [18 posts]
15th July 2012 - 8:37

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My 2p worth

After the Vuelta Sky said they weren't surprised by Froome, and that Froome had just made the breakthrough to the level they believed he could perform at. Just like Brad did in 2009, pre Sky. That's more than just fitness or talent, but also the mental strength to push on and believe you can do it.

2010 was a bad year for Brad and Sky, similarly 2012 until now has not been great for Froome. It's fantastic though to see the Vuelta wasn't a fluke or form performance, and that Froome has the talent to be a GT winner.

I think 27 is a great age to be showing this kind of riding. Given that TdF winners average 29, and Cadel set a new record for age last year, I don't think there's a great hurry for Froome to be pushing and a 3 year deal may well include terms like 'if we win the Tour, you'll have the opportunity to lead the team in a GT in the next 2 seasons'.

Team Sky's charter was originally to get a clean British win in the TdF within 5 years. That could be this year (cross fingers). If it is, then there will doubtless be new goals defined. Until it has been done though, all else is a dstraction, though BC's goals need to be accommodated too (Olympic golds). What Team Sky's new objectives might be are the interesting things to me, after this tour and how Brailsford thinks he can achieve them. Certainly Sky are bringing on talent that will be peaking beyond 2 years time with the younger riders (Dowsettt, Stannard, Swift, Thomas, Uran. Kennaugh and so on and so on), so I suspect 5 years was just a time box to define success or failure to the money men.

Next year I strongly believe if Froome can carry some form and health through the winter then Brailsford will be looking at letting Froome lead a GT, probably with Giro.

And yes, the Tour is a Team thing, but you can see from Cadel, if you haven't got the legs to stay on, no team mate can get you home. Brad has the legs, and is using them how he knows best, tempo riding and conservative, not aggressively burning energy that he will need next week. When he has needed to, he has gone to the front or upped the pace, but only when necessary. Though I suspect leading out EBH was pure enjoyment to be in yellow, feeling good and being a grateful team leader.
Tempo riding might not be as good TV as an old fashioned high mountains 1 on 1 slug fest, but I like the results. Don't worry Andy and Alberto will resume normal service next year.

posted by robdaykin [160 posts]
15th July 2012 - 10:39

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I think it makes sense to have Froome working for Wiggins in the rest of this tour, with Wiggins two minutes up, but obviously Froome seems stronger, if he hadnt lost time with a puncture etc... I wrote some thoughts in my blog, check it out if you like, I only started it yesterday Smile ..Link is below my name I think. Should feature somewhere down there?

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posted by samjackson54 [60 posts]
15th July 2012 - 15:54

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"chat coming out of France" Cool

"Obviously Froome seems stronger"

Not that obvious, or did he ride well within his limits on the time trial on team orders?

posted by paulfg42 [374 posts]
15th July 2012 - 21:43

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'obviously froome seems stronger on uphill sections' is what I should have written, apologies to paulfg42.

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posted by samjackson54 [60 posts]
15th July 2012 - 21:49

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Nothing to do with the time trail. Its all about his climbing, He's a better climber than Wiggo and nothing to do with "Wiggo climbs at his own pace and keeps it steady" Froome could leave a few of the "big" guys standing on a climb if he was given a chance to do it

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
15th July 2012 - 21:50

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Well, Tejay van Garderen is about to find out what happens when a talented rider ignores the needs of the team leader!

posted by paulfg42 [374 posts]
15th July 2012 - 21:58

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after watching todays stage I am even more convinced that froome should leave sky.

He is 2 min 5seconds behind wiggins, of which he lost 1 min 30 seconds in a puncture early on. On the two big mountain stages froome could have easily took 2-3 mins out of him. It will be interesting to see what froome decides.

ps nibali I hope you are impressed now!

posted by millskid [34 posts]
19th July 2012 - 23:28

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Wiggo said, post race yesterday, that he thinks Froome will win the TDF, and that he will be there to help him do it. Next year? Seems unorthodox that the defending champion would help a teammate win, but Sky have one of the best and most selfless ethos of any tour team, and Brailsford is pragmatic enough to make the best suited rider in position of team leader. Next year that might well be Froome.

posted by bashthebox [640 posts]
20th July 2012 - 9:48

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Well if Froome did leave, it'd be great to see him and Wiggins head-to-head next year. But how much of Froome's improvement is down to Sky? And would he be riding at the same level under another team? Anyhoo, he's under contract for two more years. Is it common in cycling for riders to leave a team when they are still under contract, or do they tend to only move once their contracts have expired?

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posted by chrisdstripes [1607 posts]
20th July 2012 - 9:49

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millskid wrote:
after watching todays stage I am even more convinced that froome should leave sky.

He is 2 min 5seconds behind wiggins, of which he lost 1 min 30 seconds in a puncture early on. On the two big mountain stages froome could have easily took 2-3 mins out of him. It will be interesting to see what froome decides.

ps nibali I hope you are impressed now!

I'm not sure it's wise to extrapolate that just because Froome can jump off the front on a climb, that he could keep that up and take much time off Brad. Ultimately, CF liks to jump, BW likes to ride tempo. One isn't necessarily stronger than the other, and until/unless they become rivals, we won't know for sure.

As for yesterday, Brad said afterwards that he had let it (what he was about to achieve) all get to him emotionally on the last climb and lost focus, which he then worked to regain. I'd argue that this can only come with experience, which Chris doesn't have yet.

I hope Nibali is impressed too, but if he is, he's not really admitting it. He said yesterday (or was it the day before?) something like "Team Sky were pushing a fast pace" and that Chris Froome was "an incredible team-mate" - but he's avoiding conceding that Wiggo is impressing him.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3109 posts]
20th July 2012 - 9:54

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Froome has held back/been told to hold back on at least 3 stages now, Where if he wasn't under team orders, He could have gone off the front and put minutes into Wiggo each time and has a health advantage to cover anything Wiggo can pull out in the TT.

As for Froome liking to jump of the front on climbs and Wiggo riding at his tempo.......BALLS. Just Froome likes to jump around, thats because he has the strength and power to do that, Wiggo simply doesn't and have to set a pace and stick to it up a long climb, because he cannot up his power output while climbing.

Clearly Froome is the strongest rider in this years tour, he's just not going to win because its been Sky's/Brads and British media's goal from the outset that Wiggo wins because he's more of a well known figure outside of cycling than Froome Angry

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
20th July 2012 - 10:15

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Let's not forget that when froome attacked cobo in the vuelta he didn't manage to stay away: cobo reeled him back in. We've seen nothing to conclusively prove that froome can ride away and *stay* away from wiggo to put enough time into him to cancel out brad's superior tting.

wiggo winning was the aim. We knew that. Froome knew that when he signed. Nothing that's happened in the tour has put sky in the position where they needed to change that aim. Their tactics have done the job they set them out to do. To say "it could have been froome instead": what do they gain from that? Maybe it could. But why risk it and switch when you have a 1-2? From a team point of view that would make no sense at all.

brad's put the work in to get himself into a position to win the tour. Froome's time will come when he's in that position. He's not now though. I'm sad for him in a way that he doesn't get to have a go for gc, but he's part of a team with a clear and unequivocal aim. While he's at press conferences saying "i could win, you know", cav, the world champion and most successful UK tour rider ever, is carrying bottles and riding tempo up the hills to keep sky on track. He knew the tour wasn't about him this year, too. I'd suggest his approach has been a lot more mature.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7325 posts]
20th July 2012 - 10:53

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Couldn't agree more with Dave. Froome really impressed me at the Vuelta last year but now strikes me as nothing more than a sulky schoolchild throwing his toys out of the pram while his irritating girlfriend tweets from the side. The constant gesturing to Brad at the end of yesterdays stage was disrespectful and annoying.

He's clearly strong in the mountains but has benefited just as much from the selfless work of the rest of Team Sky.

He's chosen to accept a large amount of money to work to work as a teammate and should get on and do this and await his turn when the parcours suits him

Frankly I hope he gets stuffed by Contador in the Vuelta

posted by Pisiform [52 posts]
20th July 2012 - 11:15

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I think people forget that a Tour is not only won in the mountains. Froome is a better grimpeur in the truest sense but is he better at TTing or does he have the road craft to ensure he is on the right side of splits, stays out of trouble etc? There a bit more to things that sitting behind a team-mate until half way up the last climb of the day. Has Froome got the engine to stay away from Wiggins to get a 2-3 minute lead over the mountain top finishes? Possibly, but Wiggins rarely loses a great deal of time to the likes of Contador and Schleck when on his game.

I'm sure those people shouting for Froome would be doing the same for Wiggins if the roles were reversed. From Sky's point of view, they'd be thinking they's backed the wrong horse if Wiggins was only 2mins down on Froome ahead of the last TT. Nice problem to have though.

Get a grip people. 109 years wait for a British winner; Wiggo's on the cusp of the unimaginable... and you are moaning. Luckily the Olympics will be along in a bit so you can moan some more about that.

Allez Wiggo!!!

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [551 posts]
20th July 2012 - 11:37

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Pisiform wrote:

Frankly I hope he gets stuffed by Contador in the Vuelta

I hope he does ride the vuelta. I think a fully fired up contador is probably the best cyclist out there. It would be very interesting to see froome, coantador and schleck (if he can be bothered) all against each other.

This years vuelta is loaded with mountains!

posted by millskid [34 posts]
20th July 2012 - 11:44

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Yes Froome is a good rider and clearly on form but he also knew the score when he rode his socks off in Spain last year hoping for the new contract he ended up getting from Sky.

He then signed that contract in full knowledge of the aim and team leader of team Sky.

It's no different to sacrifices that Cav has made. Is Gilbert held back in the same way at BMC? Or TJV even, due to Cuddles?

It's part of cycling. It's part of how team sports work. Think otherwise and you just don't 'get it' as far as I can see.

As for Froome and his display yesterday, as in his gestures, only he knows his motive. Was it team work / motivation? Was it insult / a display of power. I hope the former. I guess we will never know though.

posted by Super Domestique [1599 posts]
20th July 2012 - 12:59

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JV implied he didn't have the cash to lure him away - so he took the big paycheck. No problem with that, his performances deserve it, but to then suggest that because he is strongest on a particular terrain, that he should have been team leader to win a whole grand tour, is stretching it a bit.

In the end, after coming 2nd in the vuelta, CF could have gone elsewhere, and likely as team leader. He didn't and knew the score when he signed.

Everything else is moot. It's a team sport.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3109 posts]
20th July 2012 - 13:16

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so if Wiggo ties it up before Paris...
then who'll Sky let go for the Paris stage win...?
Froome or Cav..?

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posted by colhum1 [98 posts]
20th July 2012 - 13:58

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Its already been stated, the WHOLE team will be working for Cav in Paris

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
20th July 2012 - 14:59

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Plus, Froome physically couldn't win in Paris Big Grin

Everything else aside, as an athlete with the ability to win the TdF where would you rather be? In the best team in the world or on a second tier team (Garmin) or third tier team (Saxo)?

Those are the kinds of teams that'd hire Froome, BMC have TJ, Astana will have Nibali next year, not sure what's happening with Liquigas but I think they may be getting Kreuziger, Rabobank have Gesink/Mollema/Kreujswick, Radioshack might not survive and the Schleck's may be setting up a new team.

Where is he going to go? Where is there to go? No team right now is in the same league as Sky for closing out a three week race, if he wants to win one in the future then Sky gives him the best chance of doing that. At 27 he's 5 years younger than Wiggins and likely to inherit the team unless he does something stupid or Porte/Uran/Henao do something amazing. Staying put is the best option for his career as a whole (thinking next 5 years, not just next 12 months) and he knows that, that's why he signed his new deal.

I also agree with Dave, putting 50m into someone with a quick attack is totally different to making up 2 minutes on a climb, we don't know for certain that Froome can do that to Wiggins who is extremely good at just grinding his way up the hill at his own pace. Froome has also looked weak at times after extended efforts and it could be that actually, if he did attack like Evans/Nibali have done he might have gone the same way as them and lost time.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
20th July 2012 - 15:15

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