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Chris Froome blames “equipment” after being left for Tour de France, insists he will race in next year’s race

The four-time Tour champion claimed his bike set-up prevented him from performing at his best so far this year, after Israel Premier Tech announced its lineup

Chris Froome has cited "equipment issues" that have prevented him from perfoming at his best, while also insisting he will race the 2024 Tour de France, despite being left out of the Israel-Premier Tech line-up for this year’s race. Lack of clarity over the length of his current contract with the team, however, raises questions over whether he will still be in the peloton at all next season.

The four-time yellow jersey winner, aged 38, was missing from Israel-Premier Tech’s selection for the race, with the team targeting stage wins, its roster including Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle, both of whom won stages in its colours last year, and Michael Woods, overall winner of last week’s Route d’Occitanie.

While Froome’s ambitions of adding a fifth overall victory to emulate Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain are long gone, he had hoped to be selected for the race and according to GCN attributes his omission to problems with his health as well as his bike this year.

He told the broadcaster that issues with his bike set-up at recent races - something that Froome has been vocal about in recent years, particularly concerning his disc brakes - prevented him from demonstrating to his team that he was ready for the Tour de France.

> Fed up Froome denounces disc brake wheels on Instagram Reel

“I’m obviously disappointed with the decision. The Tour de France holds an incredibly special place in my heart,” Froome said.

“Physically I was ready, but unfortunately I was unable to show my full ability at the races assigned to me due to equipment issues.

“I respect the team’s decision and will take some time before refocusing on objectives later in the season and returning to the Tour de France in 2024,” he added.

Froome, who won the Tour de France four times with Team Sky between 2013 and 2017, is one of just seven riders to have won all three of cycling’s Grand Tours.

In 2019, however, he was involved in a near-fatal crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné while undertaking a recce of the course on the morning of the individual time trial.

The following year, Ineos Grenadiers, as Team Sky had by now been renamed following its change of sponsorship, declined to renew his contract, leading to his move to his current team.

At the time, Froome still harboured dreams of clinching that record-equalling fifth yellow jersey, but has failed to recapture the form that brought him seven overall Grand Tour victories.

His third place finish behind Tom Pidcosk at Mont Ventoux on Stage 12 of last year’s Tour de France is his only top-10 placing in more than 150 race days since joining the Israeli outfit.

He signed for the team on a deal worth a rumoured €15 million ahead of the 2021 season, with the contract widely reported to be either open-ended, or lasting five years, the latter taking him through to the end of 2025.

More recently, there have been reports that the contract is of shorter duration, although when Froome was confirmed for Israel-Premier Tech’s roster for this year, team owner Sylvain Adams remained tight-lipped on the details.

VeloNews reported that in response to press reports in Italy that Froome’s contract would expire at the end of the 2022 season – a campaign that ended with the team being relegated from the WorldTour – the Canadian billionaire said: “I don’t know where they got that information.

“I prefer not to talk about any elements of Chris Froome’s contract. It’s confidential information. A lot has been written about this, and a lot of it is wrong.

“I have never spoken about his contract before. We have an understanding with Chris Froome that his last team will be Israel Start-Up Nation. Chris Froome will retire as a rider from our team. That was the understanding when he agreed to join our team.

While GCN says that Froome is under contract until the end of 2025, the website Procyclingstats, which keeps tabs on how long riders are under contract for – as an example, current Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard is shown as riding for Jumbo-Visma up to and including the 2027 season following his recent contract extension – currently shows him as riding for Israel-Premier Tech for this season, with no listing for 2024 and beyond.

Any hopes that Froome might therefore have of racing at next year’s Tour de France, which begins in Florence and ends in Nice with the traditional finish in Paris missing as the French capital gears up to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, would appear to depend in the first instance in him still being with Israel Premier-Tech next season, with his age, form in recent seasons and likely salary requirements highly likely to rule out any prospect of a move elsewhere.

> Tour de France 2023: From Bilbao to Paris, our stage-by-stage guide to cycling’s biggest race

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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17 comments

Avatar
IanEdward | 5 months ago
1 like

https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/chris-froomes-solo-75km-tour-du-rwanda-...

Sounds like he got unlucky with tubeless punctures and incompatible disc wheels from neutral service. You can see his argument that perhaps with rim brakes his wheel changes would have been quicker (and compatible) and he would have won the stage rather than be caught by the peloton.

Avatar
Pepperami | 5 months ago
1 like

So headline is "disc brakes" but Froomes comments just say equipment issues?

smacks of lazy journalististic headline writing.

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froze | 5 months ago
0 likes

Our world is just full of whiners. I wish I could send him back in time and have him race the 1926 TDF, then he would come back with a different impression about his equipment, and fitness level!

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to froze | 5 months ago
8 likes

froze wrote:

Our world is just full of whiners.

He's not whining, he is one of the most famous and successful cyclists in the world so people are bound to ask him why he's not riding at his previous level and he's given an answer. Looking at the GCN article he seems to have a point, on the CIC-Mont Ventoux race recently he had to change his bike a number of times due to mechanical issues and at La Route d'Occitanie last week he supported Michael Wood to win the event but couldn't stay with the leaders on the final climb, again due to mechanical issues. It's not whining to say that he feels he hasn't been able to show his best due to these problems, and he said that he accepts and respects the team's decision to omit him.

Avatar
Fignon's ghost replied to Rendel Harris | 5 months ago
6 likes

Totally agree. Very well put.

I just don't get how this 4 time TDF Champion attracts so many naysayers on RCC.

CF has an opinion. Let's listen to it! He talks common sense.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Fignon's ghost | 5 months ago
1 like

Fignon's ghost wrote:

I just don't get how this 4 time TDF Champion attracts so many naysayers on RCC.

I fear that (and I'm not saying this applies to the poster above) for some people there has always been a resentment that he came over here, joined our premier professional team and proceeded to outperform our homegrown talent, certainly back in the early part of the last decade many people seemed to feel you had to be "for" Brad or Chris, you couldn't be both.

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Fignon's ghost replied to Rendel Harris | 5 months ago
3 likes

Quite. And I'm still for both. And for Thomas, Cav, Barker, Tarling, Wood etc...etc....

Their opinions and experiences count! Respect.

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matthewn5 replied to Fignon's ghost | 4 months ago
0 likes

Fignon's ghost wrote:

I just don't get how this 4 time TDF Champion attracts so many naysayers on RCC. CF has an opinion.

He's dared to challenge disk brakes, a technology that a lot of road.cc readers are emotionally invested in and can't bear to be criticised.

Avatar
skullman | 5 months ago
2 likes

I guess he's referring to the tour of Rwanda with that fail wheel change. He didn't look great last week at the d'Occitanie so no suprise he hasn't made the Tour. If this doesn't give him the boot up the backside he needs, then nothing will.

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Festus | 5 months ago
7 likes

I have that equipment issue every time I go out for a ride its called legs

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 5 months ago
9 likes

Isreal, by every definition, is an apartheid state. And its occupation and siege on Gaza is illegal under international law. Like S Africa was, Isreal should be boycotted. 
 

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Secret_squirrel replied to BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 5 months ago
0 likes

Care to explain what the connection to this story is? 

Do I-PT recieve state funding?  Or do you believe every entity with a connection to Israel is a support of this aparteheid?

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Paul J replied to Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
3 likes

We ban representation of Russia in IOC sports at moment. Israel should have the same applied.

Individuals should be allowed to participate, under neutral IOC representation.

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Crazyhorse replied to Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
5 likes

Israel Start-Up Nation and latterly Israel-Premmier Tech is very much part of Israel's attempted 'sport-washing' of its illegal occupation and apartheid regime.  If athletes like Chris Frome chose to ride for them, then they are complicit in these endeavours (i.e. the systematic expropriation of Palestinian land and denial of rights to Palestinian people). 

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I_Like_Flats replied to Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
0 likes

Yes. One of the sponsors is Tel Aviv University, which is a public university. It has also received public tourism funds, for example when the Giro started in Jerusalem, and for this year's tour kit which was designed to highlight the national trail. Here's a quote from Sylvan Adams:

“I consider our entire team and each of our riders to be ambassadors for the home country. To that end, we host an annual team bonding and tourism camp to introduce Israel to our team. Finally, I wish to thank the Israeli Ministries of Tourism and Culture and Sport for their confidence and support.”

 

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squired | 5 months ago
2 likes

Chris Froome is fast becoming the Ric Flair of cycling - "I've got one more in me".

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Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
3 likes

Oh me first me first!

"Equipment issues".... it was those pesky disc brakes wasnt it Chris?

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