Froome: ‘I’d certainly love to win a Grand Tour after finishing second in the last two I’ve done’
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Froome: ‘I’d certainly love to win a Grand Tour after finishing second in the last two I’ve done’

by VeloNation Press at 6:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Sky Procycling rider fired up for Vuelta a España

Chris FroomeStarting the race as one of the top favourites, Tour de France runner-up Chris Froome has said that he is hoping that the strong form he showed at the Tour de France can persist until the Vuelta a España reaches its conclusion in Madrid.

“It’s going to be difficult, but I will certainly do my best,” he promised. “With the Olympics, it has been difficult to focus on preparation for the Vuelta.

“Doing the Vuelta again has always been a goal for me this year, and I hope to be able to carry the form from the Tour and the Olympics on for a few more weeks.”

Froome was arguably the strongest rider last year, finishing the race just thirteen seconds behind the surprise winner Juan Jose Cobo. He waited on more than one occasion for Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins, who was the designated leader until he cracked on the Angliru and slipped to third.

He also waited for Wiggins at the Tour and ended up second overall, three minutes 21 seconds back. He then went on to net the bronze medal behind Wiggins and Tony Martin in the Olympic time trial.

Starting with Saturday’s team time trial in Pamplona, Froome will be in the position of racing for himself for the first time. “My focus for this year was to be ready for the Tour de France, but this will be the first time for me going in to a Grand Tour as team leader,” he said. “I just hope to make the most out of it and make it a successful Tour for Team Sky.

“I haven’t seen much of the course myself, but I’m expecting a tough three weeks ahead of me.”

For many, Alberto Contador is seen as the one to watch. That’s because he’s won several Grand Tours in the past, but also because he’s returning from a suspension, has focussed everything on being ready for the Vuelta and, also, is seen as wanting to make a point by riding as strongly as possible.

Froome isn’t dismissing his own chances of winning, though. “Anything can happen over three weeks, especially in Spain,” he said, referring to the unpredictable nature of the race. “I hope to get the best out of myself in terms of the general classification. Where that is exactly, who knows? I’d certainly love to win a Grand Tour after finishing second in the last two that I’ve done.”

What’s clear is that the race means a huge amount to him. He made his name there, and has the emotions and memories of that big career breakthrough.

“Having done all three Grand Tours, I can confidently say I enjoy the Vuelta the most. Last year and the way the race unfolded will always be a highlight for me,” he said.

“It was the first race where I was able to show my potential in Grand Tours and consequently gave me the opportunity to target races like the Tour and the Olympics this year.”


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