You won’t see athletes in their form every day. Chris Froome, a four-time winner of the Tour de France, remains humble. The British cyclist does not refuse the fans’ request for an autograph or photo, and also proves his professionalism in interviews with journalists. We were able to testify after the preliminary stage of a race around Slovakia in Kosice.
Chris Froome wants to ride in his forties and add a fifth overall victory to ‘The Old Lady’
She will debut for the first time in the most prestigious event on stage in Slovakia. What do you say about the cast and organization?
“I have only positive impressions so far. This is my first visit to Slovakia and I can’t believe how many people watch cycling here. In this regard, I must pay tribute to Peter Sagan, who certainly has a big share in it.”
The Start-Up Nation, on the other hand, followed the Israeli jersey. Why did you choose this team after ten years at Sky and Ineose?
“I was drawn to the fact that the team is still relatively new and is gradually working to establish itself among the elite. He wants to attack the overall Grand Tour standings and needs someone to help and guide the cyclists. I felt that I could be the one to pass on the experience to them.”
In the past, I participated in races as a clear team leader. How do you deal with the fact that this is not the case at the moment?
“Ironically, I’m happy. I know I made a lot of mistakes when I was young and I don’t want my teammates to repeat them unnecessarily. I try to pass on to me my knowledge, which I gained during a successful campaign in the last decade.”
“I am getting better in numbers, as well as emotionally in training. However, I still lack more power and better acceleration.
We haven’t seen you in the top spots since 2019, when you sustained serious injuries after falling during training at the Critérium du Dauphiné. How has this affected your career?
“I fractured my leg in two parts and at the same time broke other bones in my body. It was a huge hurdle for me. So far, I am dealing with the consequences of the injury and slowly getting back to the old level.”
What do you see as the biggest differences compared to the past?
“I am still working to be able to compete with the same intensity as before. I will honestly say I feel better and better. I am improving in numbers, as well as emotionally in training. However, I still lack more power and better acceleration. On the other hand, I am Glad I got a second chance at life. Some riders haven’t returned to competition after these problems.”
You celebrated your 36th birthday in May. Still think you can get back to the top and fight for victories in one of the big rounds?
“It is my dream to work my way up to the best. I try to do my best to come back in top condition. I already have enough experience, so I know how to train properly and get into perfect shape.”
This year, after two seasons of silence, you presented yourself at the Tour de France. However, after falling at the start of the race, I finished most of the stages on the tail line. How did you see your presence in the group?
“It was a fun experience for me (laughs). I had never experienced that before, being at the forefront of the peloton. But it was great to see the cyclists help each other to finish the race at all.”
Didn’t you think about quitting during the three difficult weeks?
“The Tour de France is a race worthy of respect. Cyclists have to hand over a hundred percent of their choices. It should be noted that it is difficult to get a nomination at all. Therefore, it makes no sense for me to opt out of it just because I am not in the perfect physical mood” .
With the Tour de France, your greatest career achievements are connected. How do you remember the period in Team Sky, when they dominated you and collected victory after victory?
“For a long time, I focused mainly on my performances in the Tour de France. For several years, I considered these races to be the most important on the calendar. But then I felt the opportunity to make another interesting entry in history. After the victories at the Tour and the Vuelte in 2017, I realized That if I also win the Giro d’Italia in 2018, I will dominate every Grand Tour in twelve months. In the end, I succeeded and I consider it a milestone in my career.”
Which of the four Tour de France championships is the most valuable to you?
“Each of them was difficult to achieve, though born in different circumstances. I would say that the first was the most exciting, as I had been longing for it for a long time. But from year to year the conditions became more difficult and the competition increased. So I dare say that winning The last fourth cost me the most effort.”
In France you’d shine like a great mountaineer or time trial, but in 2016 I was also interested in an unexpected move on the flat eleventh stage. Remember the unexpected onslaught with Peter Sagan, who finally propelled you to second place in the boom?
“Of course, it’s one of the special experiences of my career. It was a moment you couldn’t plan for. We took advantage that the stage was nervous. I saw Maciej Bodnar and Sagan start to speed up and I thought Geraint could try it with them. I knew I wouldn’t humble Peter on the boom, but I At least I tried. I consider it a great experience to compete with him.”
At the time, you had no idea what would happen the next day. After a chaotic fall on the climb to Mont Ventoux, I ran a few meters towards the end without a bike…
“It was the craziest moment of my life while cycling. No competitor would definitely expect to get into such a situation. However, I didn’t have a spare bike ready, I was close to the finish line and didn’t want to just stand by the track. Instead of waiting I ran up the hill.”
If we look at your list of accomplishments, you are without a doubt a cycling legend. Do you still have an athletic dream that you want to achieve?
“I have fulfilled many desires, but that does not mean that there are no more challenges in front of me. I would like to get the fifth yellow jersey for the Tour de France general winner. So far, only four have succeeded Jacques Antels, Eddie Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain. On the other hand, I know exactly what to do to win this race. I have a lot of work to do to be able to go back to the level of the past and think of something like that at all.”
Today, we are seeing more and more athletes achieve peak performance at the age of 35. Are you inspired by any of them?
“In general, I enjoy watching the athletes’ active career go on, and the fact that more and more athletes are my age. Among the tennis players, I am a fan of Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic, but he is two years younger than me. Among the cyclists, Alejandro Valverde, even after The age of forty, guides us on the path to success.”
Do you already have an idea in your head about how long you want to stay in the peloton?
“I would like to be in my forties. I still really enjoy cycling and being among the pros.”
Have you already thought about what you will do after your career?
“To be honest, absolutely, because I am still focused on racing. However, I would like to stay in the sport.”
Chris Froome collected his victories during his professional career.
From Africa to exclusively
Chris Froome started cycling at an unconventional destination. A native of Nairobi, Kenya, he started among the pros in the colors of the Konica Minolta Continental Team.
He then spent two years at procontinental Barloworld and joined the top league in 2010 as a member of Sky Procycling. He achieved the most significant results in this team, which later changed its name to Ineos. In addition to four overall victories in the Tour de France, he has won twice in the Spanish Vuelte and once over the Italian Gire.
He achieved a total of 46 professional victories, of which seventeen were in the general classification. Froome won three bronze medals in the United Kingdom national team jersey. He placed third in individual trials at the Olympic Games in London and Rio de Janeiro and the World Championships in Bergen. He also won a bronze medal from two trials for two teams at the World Championships.
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