Two clear targets for Chris Froome in 2013
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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Two clear targets for Chris Froome in 2013

by VeloNation Press at 6:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Team Sky rider confirms bilharzia infection is most likely a thing of the past

Chris FroomeAfter netting second in the Tour de France, third in the Olympic time trial and fourth in both the Vuelta a España and the Critérium du Dauphiné, Chris Froome has said that he is likely to structure his 2013 season around two specific objectives.

“I would like to follow a similar race program to this year, aimed at delivering me to the Tour in the best condition possible,” the Team Sky rider told VeloNation’s Xylon Van Eyck this week. “In the second half of the season I would like to get back to my best for the world championships.”

Each year, many of the top Tour GC contenders either don’t ride the world’s road race or are not in anything like the same form as in July. However the hilly nature of next year’s course in Florence makes the race more favourable to those riders, and Froome believes that he can get back into key condition for that event.

Now 27 years of age, the Kenya-born rider has gained considerable confidence from his 2012 racing results. “This past season has reinforced what I was able to achieve at the Vuelta at the end of last year,” he said, referring back to his career-changing second overall in Spain. “Riding GC in the Grand Tours has always been a dream, so to come second in a race like the Tour de France has been an amazing experience.

“The Olympics was also a highlight for me, being the first time I'd ever taken part. To come away with a medal made it even more special.”

Froome has said in the past that the reason his Grand Tour performances improved so noticeably in 2011 was because he was finally diagnosed with bilharzia after periods of weakness, and that his body is much stronger now that has been addressed.

And while a recent interview suggested that he required annual treatment for the illness, he clarifies and states that this is not the case.

“I had a two week treatment in April last year, and have since been clear of the parasite,” he confirmed. “I have it checked every six months to make sure it hasn't returned.”

Presuming it does stay away and he remains healthy, he should have a solid buildup to next year’s Tour. Sky principal Dave Brailsford has surprisingly said that Froome rather than Wiggins will be the protected rider in the race, with the 2012 Tour champion electing instead to target the Giro d’Italia.

Many felt that Froome was stronger in the mountains of this year’s Tour – although Wiggins was superior in the time trials – and he’s psyched to see what he can do when he’s in prime condition and has the full backing of the team.

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