News shorts: Froome hungry for back-to-back Tour wins

Greipel eyeing Tour stages before Green jersey, 2016 Tour's first climbing day passes over Bardet's training roads

Froome is hungry to go back-to-back in the Tour de France

It hasn't been done since the 1990s, with Miguel Indurain wining five in a row, but Team Sky's Dave Brailsford has backed Chris Froome to defend his Tour title in 2016.

Froome won the Tour in 2013 but crashed out a year later during the opening week. He returned to the race in 2015 and claimed his second title, and in Paris, for next year's route presentation, Brailsford said the rider's hunger to succeed was abundant within the British team's camp.

"Honestly, I think it's probably easier to try and do it the second time rather than the first time. For the first time you come back with all that expectation and pressure. The second time, and you'd have to ask Chris this but you'd take it more in your stride. It's not been done recently because it's a really hard thing to do. A lot of it is down to the hunger of the riders, and how much appetite and drive they've got for it. In that sense, he's really hungry and ready to go."

Chris Froome and Andre Greipel
Chris Froome and Andre Greipel attend Tuesday's Tour de France route presentation. (Bettini)

Greipel eyes Tour de France stages before talk of Green challenge can start

He may have won four stages in the 2015 Tour de France, but Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) is keeping his feet on the ground and his ambitions modest for next year's race.

The German was the best sprinter in this year's race and enjoyed his best Tour to date, but after seeing next year's Tour route for the first time in Paris on Tuesday he declared that his plan was to start small and build from there.

"I've not seen any profiles for the flat stages, so it's difficult to know," he told the media. "But when you know the area around Limoges you know it's not going to be flat at all. Sprint stages are always more controlled than other days, but you still have to get to the line.

"We start every year looking for one and then we'll see what will be."

Despite his four wins this year, Greipel still finished a distant second in the race for the Green Jersey, with Peter Sagan once again taking home the points competition. When asked if he would target the competition in 2016, Greipel merely smiled before repeating his earlier statement: "We start with stage wins."

2016 Tour's first climbing day passes over Bardet's training roads

AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet, winner of stage 18 at the 2015 Tour de France and ninth overall, said Tuesday that he "appreciates" next year's parcours.

"It appears to be a unique route," said the 2015 Tour's most aggressive rider. "We are not stuck in the routine of the last Tour routes. Mountain stages will have a major impact this year."

After the 2016 Tour de France route presentation Tuesday in Paris, Bardet pointed out that the first test in the mountains, the stage 5 run from Limoges to Le Lioran on July 6, passes close to his home.

"The roads in the department of Cantal are my training roads. I love to ride there," he said. "The tour will begin in a spectacular backdrop and the riders will remember, for a long time, this splendid province. That is why I appreciate the 2016 Tour route."

Romain Bardet wins stage 18.
Romain Bardet wins stage 18 of the 2015 Tour. (Getty Images Sport)

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