Froome to target 2019 Tour de France

Sky departure has 'given us more motivation'

Chris Froome has pinpointed his goal for next season firmly on the Tour de France while commenting on the departure of Team Sky's title sponsor after 2019.

"We've got big goals next year to win a lot of bike races. My target will be on the Tour de France and I've got every confidence if we can have a season next year that's similar to previous seasons, we'll be able to find another sponsor," Froome said, according to the BBC News.

During the presentation of the Giro d'Italia route in October, Froome diplomatically left open the door for the defense of his 2018 title in the Italian Grand Tour, saying that his schedule would not be decided by the team until December.

"The Giro is an important race for the team and it's the 10th anniversary of Team Sky, so I think it's really important to target the Giro d'Italia as well," Froome said in October. "We're all going to sit down in December and decide who's doing what. If I'm not there to defend my title, then there will be one of my teammates doing the same thing for the team."

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Froome's target on winning his fifth Tour de France has been widely discussed, with 2018 champion Geraint Thomas also aiming to defend his title.

Earlier this month, Thomas indicated he expects to be racing the Tour with Froome, saying, "If we both wanted to go to the Tour 100 per cent, as long as we both ride like we did this year, we can both do really well. As long as we don't race against each other, we both have our ambitions and that works well in training because we both push each other."

The departure of Sky means the possibility that both riders could be looking for new teams if Team Sky principal David Brailsford cannot nail down a new sponsor before a self-imposed deadline of the Tour de France. Froome told the BBC that the news will give the team extra motivation to perform.

"Nothing's changing in the team right now," he said. "We've got one more year to race, and I think, if anything, it's given us even more motivation to go out and have the best season possible next year."

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