The two clashed several times during last year's Tour de France, with the Sardinian taking the yellow jersey in the Pyrenees only for Froome to take back in Rodez. However, they seemed on friendly terms as they shared the stage at the Tour of the Alps press conference, after both recently spending a long spell at altitude on Mount Teide. They are the biggest draw at this year's Tour of the Alps, with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) their main rivals for overall victory.
With Vincenzo Nibali targeting the Tour de France, Aru carries the hopes of Italy on his slim shoulders at the Giro d'Italia. He missed last year's Corsa Rosa due to a knee injury and expectations are high on the self-proclaimed 'Knight of the Four Moors'.
Aru left Astana to join UAE Team Emirates during the winter and is keen to confirm that his 2015 Vuelta a España win was not a one-off. He rode aggressively at Tirreno-Adriatico but was clearly short of stage racing form and was then hampered by a muscle problem at the Volta a Catalunya and quit the race on stage 5 to avoid problems.
"I crashed on the first day and it was a nasty blow. Fortunately, I didn't have any serious problems. I went to altitude for four days and my training didn't suffer any delay. Now I'm curious to see how my form is. I feel good," Aru said, as he swapped questions and answers alongside Froome.
While the Briton was also quizzed about his on-going salbutamol case, Aru's biggest dilemma was about avoiding further bad luck and injury.
"I think lady luck owes me after all my problems," he said. "However, after my problems in the past, I know that the most important thing is to enjoy myself and entertain people who watch the races. That's what I'm focused on."
"I haven't raced the Tour of the Alps since 2014. In 2015 and last year I was injured and had problems. I'm happy to be here this year. It's an important test of my form. There are some important riders here such as Chris, Pinot and others. It'll be good to see where we are as the Giro nears. It'll be good final preparation for the Giro but I also want to honour the race as best as possible."
"Winning is nice but it's not fundamental. We'd all like to win from the start of the season to the end but that's not possible. I turned pro only a few years ago and I've got some goals I'd like to achieve. I hope to come out of the Tour of the Alps thinking of my goal."