Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas link up in South Africa for altitude camp

Team Sky leaders train together ahead Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta a Catalunya

Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas have linked up in Crystal Springs, South Africa for a two-week block of altitude training.

The three-time Tour de France winner is using the training camp as preparation for his next race, the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, which runs from March 20-26. Team Sky have used the South African base for the last two years with Froome and Ian Boswell both training there in 2016 and Froome and Wout Poels based there in 2015.

This time around Froome and Thomas are joined by Team Sky coach Tim Kerrison, mechanic Gary Blem and soigneur Jacek Walczak. The two-week camp comes after Froome’s 2017 season debut at the Herald Sun Tour, while Thomas competed at the Tour Down Under in January and is looking to lead Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia in May.

Crystal Springs has quickly become a hotbed for professional riders and their altitude training camps. Orica Scott’s Esteban Chaves and Tom Domoulin (Subweb-Giant) have all used the location with the Dutchman currently there ahead of his own plans to tackle the Giro d'Italia later this spring.

Thomas’s next race is provisionally Tirreno-Adriatico in early March, where he will race alongside Giro d'Italia co-leader, Mike Landa. The Welshman has raced Paris-Nice in recent years, and won the French stage race in 2016.

Kerrison is confident that Thomas can aim for victory in the Giro. It will be the first time that the former track rider has been able to lead a team in a Grand Tour having spent the last few years supporting Froome’s Tour de France ambitions.

In a recent interview with Cyclingnews, Kerrison said: "We go into every race trying to win so winning would be success. We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think he could win."

"What we know is that when he's at his best he's a great climber and he's already a great time trialist. We know that the biggest challenge will be the third week but that's the same for everyone."

After Catalunya Froome will decide on the location for his next altitude camp. It’s unlikely that he will return to South Africa, with Mount Teide the usual altitude location of choice for the Tour de France favourite. 

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