Home
Team Sky rider put off by Tour's lack of time trialling - and may aim for Giro-Vuelta double...

Chris Froome, winner of the Tour de France in 2013, says he is not certain to take part in next year’s race after it was revealed it would include just one individual time trial – at 14 kilometres, the shortest since the format was introduced to the race in 1947. Instead, the Team Sky rider may target the Giro d’Italia and perhaps follow that up with the Vuelta.

On his personal website Froome, speaking from Team Sky’s training camp in Weymouth, said: "There's no two ways about it, 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 mountaintop finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race."

The 29-year-old seems to be leaning more towards May’s Giro, although no firm decision has been made yet. "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. 

“I see myself as quite a balanced GC rider and the Giro with its inclusion of a long TT 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."

Froome, who after crashing out of the Tour de France this summer rode the Vuelta where he finished runner-up to Alberto Contador, went on: "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."

The 102nd edition of the Tour, which starts in Utrecht on 4 July with that short time trial – it is 6km too long to be classified as a Prologue – also contains a cobbled stage, which evokes memories of Froome’s early exit from this year’s race when he crashed twice on Stage 5, having already injured himself in a fall the previous day.

He insisted however that his experience in July wouldn’t put him off riding on the pave. "I actually quite enjoy the challenge of riding on the cobbles,” he said. “It's a difficult and stressful obstacle for us to overcome when it's part of a race like the Tour de France, but we're all in the same boat and there's no reason why I'd be any worse off than any of the other GC contenders". 

"The cobbles were not the cause of my departure from the Tour this year, it was the crash on the previous stage which could have happened to anybody. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time," he added.

Froome concluded by casting his eye over some of the contenders for the yellow jersey next year. "We'll have to see who's going to be there but I think Alberto Contador will be the man to beat. You can never discount the likes of Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and other GC contenders like Purito [Joaquin Rodriguez] and [Alejandro] Valverde,” he said. Alberto is the guy who stands out though. He came back after his injury in an amazing way to win the Vuelta España title this year and I expect him to be just as strong next season."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

11 comments

Avatar
RobD [531 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Almost no time trialling and lots of tough mountain days, Quintana's for the taking? Especially with a team time trial which movistar seem to be pretty handy at when they need to be.
It'd be interesting to see Quintana vs Contador on some stages.

Avatar
Metjas [362 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

a bit disappointing to see Froome as good as rule himself out of next year's Tour within hours of the route being announced. I hope he changes his mind.

I'm more open now to the idea that it would indeed be better to modify the format of the Grand Tours to make it more feasible for all the top riders to contest all three in a season, especially since we're now in the fortunate situation to have closely matched contenders. While I admired Nibali's win in the TdF this year, which he pretty much galvanised by his performance on the cobbled stage, just imagine what the fight would have been if Froome and Contador had not crashed out - so we do want them all there, at least on the starting blocks.

Avatar
ajmarshal1 [417 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Metjas wrote:

a bit disappointing to see Froome as good as rule himself out of next year's Tour within hours of the route being announced. I hope he changes his mind.

I'm more open now to the idea that it would indeed be better to modify the format of the Grand Tours to make it more feasible for all the top riders to contest all three in a season, especially since we're now in the fortunate situation to have closely matched contenders. While I admired Nibali's win in the TdF this year, which he pretty much galvanised by his performance on the cobbled stage, just imagine what the fight would have been if Froome and Contador had not crashed out - so we do want them all there, at least on the starting blocks.

The whole Tinkoff "Everyone ride all three" thing will never happen. If Froome feels it doesn't suit him, then it makes more sense to try and pick up a pink and a red jersey to go with his yellow. I expect Pinot and Quintana to be big players in the coming TdF.

As an aside, I can't wait for the usual suspects to now start calling for Brad to lead the team despite the fact that he wouldn't see a top twenty in GC on that route.

Avatar
Leviathan [2840 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
ajmarshal1 wrote:

The whole Tinkoff "Everyone ride all three" thing will never happen.

There are four Tennis grand slams and Paris and Wimbledon are much closer than any Grand tour. It would be unthinkable for the top players to skip if not injured. It now seems odd that Borg wouldn't play in Australia and that was in the 70's. There just isn't enough focus on world rankings in cycling because of all the different disciplines to compel top riders to do all the top events.

At least this will give the lie to the idea that the Tour route was design for Wiggins (and then Froome) to win. Seems like they just like to change the profile to keep mixing it up; the only aim might be to get a different winner each year. There won't be another British winner in a while.

Avatar
J90 [418 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Isn't climbing what Froome does best?

RobD wrote:

Almost no time trialling and lots of tough mountain days, Quintana's for the taking? Especially with a team time trial which movistar seem to be pretty handy at when they need to be.
It'd be interesting to see Quintana vs Contador on some stages.

Contador is the man to beat. Tinkoff Saxo are strong, Rafal Majka will play an even bigger part if he's in the team, he did amazing this year considering he'd just placed 6th in the Giro.

Avatar
daddyELVIS [654 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I agree that Contador will be the man to beat on this route! But maybe this is the only chance that France have of winning. Has Brailsford signed his French GC rider yet?

Avatar
ajmarshal1 [417 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
bikeboy76 wrote:
ajmarshal1 wrote:

The whole Tinkoff "Everyone ride all three" thing will never happen.

There are four Tennis grand slams and Paris and Wimbledon are much closer than any Grand tour. It would be unthinkable for the top players to skip if not injured. It now seems odd that Borg wouldn't play in Australia and that was in the 70's. There just isn't enough focus on world rankings in cycling because of all the different disciplines to compel top riders to do all the top events.

Tennis is not cycling. Not even close, there is no way you can compare the two.

Avatar
notfastenough [3728 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
ajmarshal1 wrote:

As an aside, I can't wait for the usual suspects to now start calling for Brad to lead the team despite the fact that he wouldn't see a top twenty in GC on that route.

While I don't think anyone could seriously suggest BW would be suited to it, it does beg the question of who will? Team Sky might be fine with CF missing the seasons' biggest race, but only if they've got another decent contender, surely?

Avatar
IngloriousLou [141 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
ajmarshal1 wrote:

As an aside, I can't wait for the usual suspects to now start calling for Brad to lead the team despite the fact that he wouldn't see a top twenty in GC on that route.

And that's if he was training for it.

By the time the tour rolls up it'll be about a year until the Rio games where he wants to win gold on the track. In my opinion the body shape and fitness he'll be looking to build are almost the complete opposite for what's required for TdF, I doubt he'll even want to be in the team, never mind the lead.

Avatar
DrJDog [422 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
RobD wrote:

Almost no time trialling and lots of tough mountain days, Quintana's for the taking? Especially with a team time trial which movistar seem to be pretty handy at when they need to be.
It'd be interesting to see Quintana vs Contador on some stages.

A 14km tt could nearly be done on a road bike, which might suit Quintana

Avatar
Leviathan [2840 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
ajmarshal1 wrote:
bikeboy76 wrote:
ajmarshal1 wrote:

The whole Tinkoff "Everyone ride all three" thing will never happen.

There are four Tennis grand slams and Paris and Wimbledon are much closer than any Grand tour. It would be unthinkable for the top players to skip if not injured. It now seems odd that Borg wouldn't play in Australia and that was in the 70's. There just isn't enough focus on world rankings in cycling because of all the different disciplines to compel top riders to do all the top events.

Tennis is not cycling. Not even close, there is no way you can compare the two.

Well, yes, obviously. You seem to think I was contradicting you. Read the last sentence again.