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Brailsford hints that Froome could ride the Vuelta a Espana

By:
Stephen Farrand
Published:
July 24, 2014, 11:22 BST,
Updated:
July 24, 2014, 11:42 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chris Froome (Team Sky) after his fall

Chris Froome (Team Sky) after his fall

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Team Sky to target success throughout the 2015 season

Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford has revealed that Chris Froome could ride the Vuelta a Espana after crashing out of the Tour de France.

Froome fractured his left wrist and right hand during his crashes at the Tour de France and quit the race early on stage five, before the cobbled sectors of the stage in northern France. Brailsford confirmed that Froome is already back on his bike at home in Monaco and so could line up for the Vuelta a Espana that starts in Jerez de la Frontera on Saturday August 23.

Froome last rode the Vuelta in 2012 when he finished fourth overall. He finished second overall in 2011 after leading the race for several days. That race marked his breakthrough performance as a potential Grand Tour winner. He went on to finish second behind Bradley Wiggins at the 2012 Tour de France and won the Tour de France in 2013.

"It is more likely than unlikely," Gazzetta dello Sport reported Brailsford as saying.

"He’s been on the bike but we want to make sure that he’s properly healed before pushing too much and have a risk of something going wrong. His health comes first and then we’ll go from there. If everything is ok, it would be good to have Chris ride a grand Tour this season."

If Froome rides the Vuelta, it seems unlikely that Wiggins will be part of the same team. Wiggins is targeting the team pursuit on the track at the Commonwealth Games and is expected to return to the Tour of Britain and target the time trial at the world road race championships in Spain.

More balanced objectives in 2015

Brailsford is working hard to boost the Team Sky roster and line up of directeur sportifs for 2015. He admitted the British team will focus on winning races throughout the season, not only on the Tour de France but told Cyclingnews earlier in the week that Team Sky will not hire veteran Italian directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli, who worked with Marco Pantani when he won the 1998 Tour de France and is with Vincenzo Nibali's Astana team this year.

"I think the big question is how focused you become on the Tour and when you’ve won it twice it’s very hard not to focus on it," Brailsford explained.

"When you’ve got a guy like Froome, he’s obviously a contender. It’s difficult and probably a little bit dangerous to get so focused on the Tour that you prioritise it more – not intentionally, it just kind of creeps up on you and happens. I think we’ve recognised that and it’s important to have a balanced approach to the whole season and win over the whole season. As part of our recruitment we’ll be looking at that."

"Maybe dangerous is too strong a word, let me take that back. It’s natural that you get drawn towards the Tour if you have someone who can win it. We need to remind ourselves that it’s good to be a winning team as well as a Tour-focused team and I think ultimately when you’ve got someone who can win the Tour, you have a bunch of guys who become very expert at doing a specific role in the team. They understand their role and they do their role but of course then if the leader disappears, it’s all of a sudden, 'Okay, we need to change our approach'.”

 
 

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