Following today’s unveiling of the 2015 Tour de France route, Chris Froome says he may skip next year’s Grand Tour.
The British rider, and 2013 Tour winner, says that he’s not keen on the final lay-out of the three-week race, indicating that he may instead focus on the Giro d’Italia, along with the Vuelta a Espana.
"The team and I will have to give it some careful consideration before we make any commitments to which of the grand tours I will compete in,” he said in a statement on his personal website.
“I see myself as quite a balanced GC rider and the Giro with its inclusion of a long TT of 60km and tough uphill finishes will make it a well balanced race which suits me well. If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win."
The 2015 Tour de France features only one 14 kilometer individual time trial, along with a short, mountainous 28 kilometer time trial – something that Froome specializes in.
"There’s no two ways about it, next year’s Tour is going to be about the mountains. There’s very little emphasis on time trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains. With 6 mountaintop finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race".
"In the past I’ve only targeted one grand tour each season but it could be a good opportunity for me to focus seriously on two. It’s still early days though and we’ll have to sit down and put our heads together as a team to work out what 2015 is going to look like for us."
In addition, the 2015 Tour will also feature cobblestones – something Froome isn’t particularly fond of – especially after abandoning this year’s Tour following precipitating injuries that occurred during a crash on a cobbled section.
"I actually quite enjoy the challenge of riding on the cobbles. It’s a difficult and stressful obstacle for us to overcome when it’s part of a race like the Tour de France, but we’re all in the same boat and there’s no reason why I’d be any worse off than any of the other GC contenders."
"The cobbles were not the cause of my departure from the Tour this year, it was the crash on the previous stage which could have happened to anybody. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Additionally, Froome named Alberto Contador as his Tour favorite for the 2015 race.
“Alberto Contador will be the man to beat".
"You can never discount the likes of Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and other GC contenders like Purito (Rodriguez) and Valverde. Alberto is the guy who stands out though. He came back after his injury in an amazing way to win the Vuelta España title this year and I expect him to be just as strong next season."
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