Chris Froome (Team Ineos) started the week defending his new team sponsor after petrochemical company Ineos were unveiled as Sky's replacement, but at the end of the Tour de Yorkshire, the four-time Tour de France winner was rather more upbeat.
On the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, it was Froome, alongside the superb Eddie Dunbar, who set up teammate Chris Lawless for the overall win with a stinging attack on the final climb. Froome rode the four-day event as a super-domestique, but made the podium after Team Ineos took victory in the team classification. Lawless ceded the stage to 2018 winner Greg Van Avermaet, but took the overall plaudits ahead of the Belgian and teammate Dunbar.
"I'm feeling good for early May. I've still got some work to do. but that's natural with two months to go," Froome told Cyclingnews when asked about his form ahead of the Tour de France in July.
"I definitely feel good. The form is getting better and better now. I still have a long way to go, but that's normal. I've got some hard work ahead of me," he had told television cameras just after the stage finish.
"To win our first race is spectacular. I'm super proud of how the guys rode today. Chris was able to follow Greg Van Avermaet in the final, and he rode a fantastic race. He fully deserves his victory. I've really enjoyed riding on home roads, and, even though the weather has been Yorkshire weather, the people have been super friendly. For a start for Ineos we couldn't have asked for much more."
From the hills of Yorkshire, Froome will head home before heading away to recon several Tour de France stages. He will then link up with his teammates for a training camp before taking part in his final pre-Tour race at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June. His teammate, and defending Tour de France champion, Geraint Thomas, is set to race the Tour de Suisse in June.
“I'll do some recons, then a training camp, and then the Dauphiné. I'll see quite a few Tour stages in the Pyrenees and the Alps. There will be a few stages of each."
Earlier in the day, Froome had distanced himself from riding the Giro d'Italia. Team Ineos have a selection headache to make after their pre-race leader Egan Bernal crashed in training on Saturday, sustaining a broken collarbone. Gianni Moscon, who was also down to ride in Italy, is also set to miss out on the eight-rider roster. The Italian is likely to race the Tour of California instead.
Team Ineos are to announce their Giro plans in the next 24 to 48 hours.