Chris Froome traveled to Tuscany this week to secretly study the hilly course of the world road race championships in Florence. The Tour de France winner confirmed that the world title is a goal for the end of season and he will ride the USA Procycling Challenge in Colorado (August 19-25) to prepare for the end of season.
Froome's fiancé Michelle Cound tweeted a photograph of Froome relaxing in Tuscany on Tuesday and then posted a photo of Froome on a key part of the circuit on Friday morning. Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that Froome rode two laps of the circuit on Wednesday morning with former professional rider Roberto Poggiali acting as a guide aboard a scooter. Poggiali was the Under 23 directeur sportif of Froome's teammate Salvatore Puccio.
Froome carefully studied the 4.3km up to Fiesole above Florence, the technical descent back to the centre of the Renaissance city and the key short climb in Via Salviati that could be a perfect point to launch a late attack. The Elite men's road race will cover a total distance of 272km, with a 106km section from Lucca to Florence and then ten laps of the 16.5km Fiesole circuit.
"During the first lap he stayed mostly behind my scooter but on the second lap he carefully tried his gears and pushed it a bit more. He studied every detail and said that it was a hard but great course," Poggiali told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"He pointed out that the final part of the Fiesole climb was important, perhaps more than the Via Salviati climb. He thinks the riders to beat will be the Italians and the Colombians (Sky teammates Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao and Movistar's Nairo Quintana); he also said even a rider like Cancellara could be a threat."
Froome has yet to be officially named in the Great Britain team for the world championships but it seems he will only ride the road race, leaving Bradley Wiggins to target the time trial.
"He told me he won’t ride the individual time trial but he could ride the team time trial event on September 22," Poggiali revealed.