Chris Froome dismisses notion that Vuelta leadership could cause tensions in Team Sky
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chris Froome dismisses notion that Vuelta leadership could cause tensions in Team Sky

by Shane Stokes at 6:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Says squad has a ‘fantastic environment’

Chris FroomeAdmitting that his race leadership in the Vuelta a España is completely unexpected, Chris Froome has played down any suggestions that taking the red jersey will create tensions with Sky Procycling team leader Bradley Wiggins.

“No, we are working together,” he smiled in a post-time trial TV interview. “It is a fantastic environment in the team. We will carry on as we have been in the last ten days.”

Froome had worked for the latter on Sunday’s climb of La Covailla, with Wiggins then showing his strength when he dragged the front group along nearer the summit and put several GC riders in big difficulty. He started very quickly in yesterday’s time trial and appeared on course to take the race lead, but faded towards the end to place third to Froome’s second. He was 23 seconds slower and ended the day 20 seconds back in third. Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek) is second, twelve second off the red jersey.

“It is a big surprise. I wasn’t expecting to be wearing this jersey at the end of the day. This is fantastic, a dream come true,” he said.

“I thought I’d go as hard as I could to stay in contention with the main riders, but I had no idea that this could happen. It is just fantastic.”

South African Robbie Hunter was impressed, the RadioShack rider using his Twitter account to both congratulate Froome and also to make some pointed comments about the long delay to give the latter a new contract.

“Happy for @chrisfroome,” he wrote. “Maybe his team will finally see what he is worth as a rider..trains hard, races hard all the time. Good to see!!!!

“I wanna see how quick team Sky are gonna be [to] now to sign him again after they been stalling with contracts!”

The rider’s worth will certainly be on the rise after his time trial performance and capturing of the red jersey. Sky Procycling will be likely to want to give him a deal for 2012 and beyond, but now so too will other squads. That stock will continue to rise if he can defend his jersey in the days ahead, or take a high placing in Madrid.

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