Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Chris Froome absence from Tour Down Under ‘puzzling’ – Brian Cookson

UCI president keen to see top names taking part in WorldTour races

UCI president Brian Cookson, keen for WorldTour events to attract the biggest names, has proclaimed Chris Froome’s absence from the Tour Down Under ‘an odd decision by Team Sky’. Froome himself has pointed out that he almost always starts racing in February and with his son having only recently been born, an extra week at home was rather more valuable to him.

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that Cookson is frustrated that WorldTour races often lack many of the sport’s biggest stars. While admitting that he understood why this was often the case, he singled out Sky for particular criticism with regards to the recently-completed Tour Down Under, won by Simon Gerrans.

“I think it’s an odd decision by Team Sky,” he said about Froome’s absence. “It’s not a helpful decision, but one understands why teams sometimes make these decisions. It’s a long season and riders need to prepare in the best way, but certainly that was a puzzling decision to me.”

Chris Froome talks safety concerns of disc brakes in the pro peloton

Cookson then argued that the Tour Down Under had perhaps been ‘a little bit of a victim of its own success’. “It’s a very difficult event to win, the teams and riders know that, and perhaps some of them choose to have a more gentle start to the season.”

This seems to be the case for Froome, who said: “Any rider who does want to come to Down Under with serious goals to do well needs to be already really in good condition come November/December. That hasn’t been on my programme. I only started training in mid-November, as I have for the last five years, and have found that’s worked for me, and I’m quite happy to stick to that.”

Froome said that sticking with tried and tested plans also ensured more time with his son Kellan, who was born in December. He has now arrived in Victoria for the Herald Sun Tour where he will begin his racing season.

“It wasn’t that I was specifically trying to avoid coming to Down Under or anything, but how it fitted in with my programme at home. I’ve just had a little boy and I’ve been on a training camp already, if I was to come to Down Under it would have meant a lot of time away before my boy was even a month old. So at least this way I got an extra week at home before coming down here and that's made it a lot easier.”

Chris Froome releases performance data - but will it silence critics?

Froome denied that he had been paid to race the Herald Sun Tour, but it is a challenge for Cookson that this is how teams are sometimes persuaded to send high profile riders to events that are not part of the WorldTour.

“It’s not a good idea to force organisers to pay to bring individual riders to events, but one understands why, when teams are in a very fragile financial situation, they might choose to take advantage of those possibilities.

“Interestingly, I was talking to Mark Cavendish before Christmas and he tells me his programme is not defined by being paid to go somewhere or not — it’s defined by what he feels is the best preparation for him.

“And if he doesn’t want a high- key start to the season, I think we have to understand that. They’re not circus performers, they’re serious athletes who have to periodise their training and use their skills to get the best results.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Latest Comments

  • bigblue 42 min 5 sec ago

    Yes, genuine mail-ordered stuff (I assume, because it was from reputable shops) seems to sometimes come unboxed, sometimes boxed. I guess this is...

  • janusz0 1 hour 6 min ago

    I was out in my car today and joined a queue that followed a tractor with a trailer of "big bales" for about 5 miles today.  I was too far back,...

  • NOtotheEU 1 hour 7 min ago

    Agreed it's a s**tshow.  Lets hope that at least all parties involved don't want WWIII.

  • pockstone 1 hour 8 min ago

    Collisions between fast moving trains and cars tend to be 'short-lived'. It's the grief and misery thereafter that last forever. This bloke has got...

  • Sniffer 1 hour 9 min ago

    London Fire Brigade on Twitter: "Fires caused by sunlight can happen all year round, so keep mirrors, glass & reflective objects out of direct...

  • NOtotheEU 1 hour 24 min ago

    I've considered something similar to this but spring loaded. Pull it down into place until you filter then pull a lever on the bars to get it to...

  • Rendel Harris 2 hours 56 min ago

    I can offer free disposal services...

  • Rendel Harris 2 hours 58 min ago

    Never seen anyone riding like that with aerobars, ever! Sounds madly uncomfortable. Mine are about 70 mm deep at the deepest flat part, no problem...

  • Themadchemist 4 hours 42 min ago

    I've had 2 KMC chains fail on my campag 10spd equipped bike,probably 5yrs ago.. Fortunately they both broke within a mile of home and I was able to...

  • Awavey 5 hours 5 min ago

    especially when they can often take 4 to 5 of their 7 days just to send you the link to upload the clip, but the stats they publish, although they...