Froome: ‘I don’t feel like I’ve hit my best form yet’
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Froome: ‘I don’t feel like I’ve hit my best form yet’

by VeloNation Press at 10:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Team Sky leader names Contador as his top rival for Tour de France

Chris FroomeAlthough he has been the most successful of the Tour de France contenders this year with overall victory in the Tours of Oman and Romandie plus Critérium International, Chris Froome has said that he believes he can yet step up a level prior to the Tour de France.

The Briton will likely be Team Sky’s leader in the event and feels he can find better form between now and the race, his top objective of the year.

“I don’t feel like I’ve hit my best form yet. It’s been good but not like I’ve been absolutely flying yet,” he told the London Evening Standard. “I feel on the rise but I’ve still got a few weeks to the Tour, there’s still headroom.”

He will start the Critérium du Dauphiné this weekend and will have the chance to test his form there, particularly as many of the big guns for the Tour de France will take part.

Froome finished as runner up to team-mate Bradley Wiggins in last year’s race and was also third behind the victorious Briton in the Olympic time trial. The latter declared last October that he would target the Giro rater than the Tour de France and while he has blown hot and cold on that position since then, Sky’s team principal Dave Brailsford recently declared that Froome would indeed be the number one protected rider in the Tour.

Since then Wiggins has tried, and failed, to win the Giro d’Italia, dropping out after incurring time losses to eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali and others and also falling sick.

Some have speculated that this could prompt him to refocus on the Tour but, even if that’s the case, Froome believes that he will still be the leader. He said that while he finds the speculation about that subject to be a little frustrating, that he understands why it is the case.

“I don’t enjoy the specific talk, the he says, he says stuff,” he stated. “But given the territory and what we’re doing it’s understandable, and it’s great to see so much interest.”

As regards whether Wiggins’ abandonment of the Giro could make him stronger for the Tour, he said that it is difficult to tell.

“Who knows on Brad. It depends on how he pulls out of it. It comes down to a management decision and what job they see him doing. We’re definitely going to have a pretty strong team, regardless.”

However he cautions against any presumption that the Sky team will have it all its own way. The squad may have been dominant in 2012, and also in certain races this year, but he said that it doesn’t necessarily follow that things will be like that in July.

“I think people were a little bit deluded by how easy it was last year,” he explains. “People are talking about how we can choose who will win this year, that first and second is guaranteed. Last year, we had it easy in terms of competition and in terms of luck. Things went our way and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when things don’t go our way.”

One difference this time will be that a two time winner who was absent in 2012 will be back and has trained specifically to be at his best for the event. Froome is clear that he will be the biggest danger.

“Contador’s the main threat,” he proclaims “He knows what he’s doing, he’s won a lot of Grand Tours. He’ll be hidden away in Spain somewhere riding himself into form, I’m sure.”

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