Chris Froome has made an off-season trip to Brazil to study the road race and time trial course for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
The Tour de France winner was in Dublin on Tuesday, speaking at the Web Summit conference. On Thursday he posted a photo of him riding his time trial bike on Twitter, announcing: “Holiday's over, 2016 prep has begun!”
Froome has already said both the road race and time trial are major goals for 2016 alongside a third victory at the Tour de France. The hilly course of both events means that many of the Tour de France contenders will also head to Rio and target success. Froome a bronze medal in the time trial at the the 2012 London Olympics behind Bradley Wiggins and Tony Martin.
The Tour de France ends on Sunday July 24, with the men’s Olympic road race was scheduled for Sunday August 7, with the time trial on Wednesday August 10. The Olympic road race will be held on a 256.4km course containing two hilly circuits, while the time trial will take place on a 59.6km course.
On Friday Froome posted a photo of himself, Great Britain Elite road coach Rod Ellingworth and Great Britain mechanic Alan Williams enjoying a coconut drink overlooking the Brazilian coast. He wrote: “Important part of the Rio route recon #coconuts #teamgb #rio2016 #olympics”
He also retweeted photos by local resident and cyclist Roberto Vitorio of him riding on the road race course, writing: “Riding around the @Olympics @Rio2016_en course. It’s going to be a tough one! @TeamGB @BritishCycling #RoadToRio”
“It's going to be an exciting year, that's for sure. The main focus for me is going to be the Tour de France again, but just on the back of the Tour de France, we have got the Olympic road race over in Rio, and a few days following that, potentially the Olympic time trial is also on the cards,” Froome told Sky Sports in a recent interview.
"Both the road race and the time trial do suit me very well. The time trial has over 1,000m of climbing in it, so it's going to be a tough time trial. I think it's over 50km, so for an individual time trial, that is a long event. Given the road race is over 250km, I think, with close to 5,000m of climbing, that's a tough race - really tough race - and if the form is still good come the end of the Tour de France, hopefully I'll be up for a shot at the road race.”
"That's a massive goal to set and I think I'm just going to have to take each event as it comes, but it's exciting. It's really exciting."