Chris Froome: “We’ve got some good reasons to be confident”
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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Chris Froome: “We’ve got some good reasons to be confident”

by Ben Atkins at 5:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
Dauphiné winner now looks ahead to the Tour de France with teammate Richie Porte

chris froome

With his victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Chris Froome (Team Sky) has further emphasised his position as favourite for the upcoming Tour de France. The 28-year-old has enjoyed a near-perfect season so far, much as teammate Bradley Wiggins did on his way to Tour victory last season, matching his Tour de Romandie victory as well as that of the Dauphiné.

"It’s been a dream scenario", he said after the final mountain stage. "The Dauphiné was a build up race. To come away with the victory plus one of my best friends and team-mate Richie Porte in second place overall, I couldn’t ask for more. Of course, it’s a very positive test for the Tour de France. I know that I’ll do everything I can to win it as well. We’ve got some good reasons to be confident with such a great team but in cycling, nothing is granted.

Froome finished second to Wiggins in last year’s Tour de France and, in the absence of the 2012 winner from this year’s event, Porte looks set to play the same role this time. Also missing from the 2013 team will be road captain Michael Rogers - who is set to be part of Alberto Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff team in the race - so whether the team behind Froome will be as strong as that behind Wiggins will remain to be seen.

Having the similar luxury of two potential winners at Sky should put the British team ahead of its rivals, Froome hopes.

“It’ll be an advantage to have two riders able to target high positions on GC,” he said. “It’s a very favourable situation. Tonight I’ll be able to have a drink with my team-mates to celebrate this great win. In the coming days, we’ll go and recognise some mountain stages of the Tour.”

Having taken the fifth stage of the Dauphiné, on the mountaintop finish at Valmorel, Froome went after a second stage victory in today’s final stage. Breakaway rider Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) had just enough time in hand to resist the late charge of the Team Sky duo of Froome and Porte, however, and the Italian held on to win by 24 seconds.

"It would have been great to win the stage as well but we have already won two of those this week [Edvald Boasson Hagen also won stage 3 - ed] and it just proved impossible to reel in De Marchi in the end," Froome said.

richie porteTeam Sky directeur sportif Nicolas Portal was highly satisfied with the team’s performance during the eight-day race, with the Frenchman confirming that the British team is now highly confident ahead of the Tour de France, which starts in less than three weeks time.

“It was nice to finish with such a fantastic performance,” Portal said. “The team were super strong and then Froomey and Richie rounded it off in style.”

In addition to Froome’s Romandie and Dauphiné victories, the Kenyan-born rider has won the Tour of Oman and the Critérium International, and finished second in Tirreno-Adriatico; while Porte - in addition to playing a supporting role to Froome - has won Paris-Nice and finished second in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, and in the Critérium International and the Dauphiné behind his teammate.

“Those two have ticked off every goal they’ve set this season, raced hard, and enjoyed a lot of success,” Portal continued. “That breeds massive confidence within the rest of team because they know their efforts won’t be wasted and that Richie and Froomey can deliver the results.”

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