The Team Ineos champ has undergone a long recovery process. A horrible crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné left him with fractured ribs, elbow and a broken femur. Many questioned Froome’s chances of getting back on the bike, let alone racing the Tour. But Chris is one tough son of a …mother. And the vision of winning the Tour once more kept him going.
“It would be massive,” Froome said to the reporters via Zoom. “It would definitely be one of the biggest comeback stories in sport. Given recovery has been successful and my track record, that’s the plan. I’d like to think that chances are I can do it. Nothing is written in stone, or given in sport, but I’ve got the experience, loads of motivation and I want to make it happen obviously.
“Going through what I have been the last year, it did give me a lot of time to think. Looking at other athletes who have been through similar experience and come back stronger I can understand why now. It gives you a whole new perspective on your career and racing. In cycling we saw Valverde break his leg in the Tour, come back and the following season he ended up world champion.”
The 34-year-old returned to racing at the UAE Tour earlier this year. His results weren’t astonishing, but nobody would expect him to win the race even if it weren’t for the crash. The postponement of the Tour’s start till August 28 plays to Froome’s advantage as well.
“Hopefully people will write me off a little bit after the crash and I think they have written me off to some extent. That could be to my advantage as well. Every time I have come up against adversity it has always pushed me harder.”
Froome flicked through the images of his crash and injuries during the interviews. Clearly at peace with what happened.
“Looking at those now, they are hugely motivating for me. Some pretty grim, gnarly pictures, bits of bone sticking out. They are a reminder of how far I have come in the last few months. It’s stuff that I had almost put out of my mind but it’s pretty motivational thinking that was less than a year ago and now I am back in full training mode and hoping to win a Grand Tour this year. It’s an amazing contrast.”
The four-time Tour de France winner’s contract with Team Ineos will expire at the end of 2020. However, he says that negotiations are the last thing on his mind.
“My dream, when I retire, would be to have won more Tours de France than anyone else. It would be the perfect scenario, but I know there is still a lot of work to make it come true.”
Do you think he can pull it off? Let us know your thoughts. We wouldn’t count him out. That’s for sure.