Earlier this week, Team Ineos leader Chris Froome responded to press reports about him having had to leave a training camp early, pointing out that his last camp had been in early December, and not more recently, as had been implied. From his training camp in Gran Canaria on Friday, Froome again took to social media to assure his followers that he was in good spirits and training hard.
"On training camp... Or maybe not. No, really, I am," wrote Froome in a cheeky message on Twitter, accompanied by a picture of him and a number of other Team Ineos riders out training, seemingly backing up the rumour that he and his teammates had found the previous confusion funny.
Such confusion had come after Ineos sports director Dario Cioni was quoted in the Italian press – in Bicisport and on SpazioCiclismo.com – as being concerned about Froome's recovery from his serious crash at last year's Critérium du Dauphiné, saying that Froome had returned home after two days of training in Spain, and that "he's not well and who knows if he will recover?"
The camp in question was apparently in Mallorca, and while he didn't expressly deny that he had left it early, Froome did make it clear that the training camp had been some time ago, posting last Sunday evening: "Hope that I can set this straight, I was last at a training camp at the beginning of December. My recovery is going well and I will be heading to my next training camp on Thursday. Onward."
Team Ineos principal Dave Brailsford, meanwhile, moved to further defend his rider in the aftermath.
"No one should underestimate Froome," Brailsford told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. "He and Ineos will really do everything they can to get him to his best by the start of the Tour de France in Nice on Saturday, June 27."
Since Thursday, Froome has been on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria with a number of teammates, including fellow British rider Tao Geoghagen Hart, former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski, veteran German rider Christian Knees and Ireland's Eddie Dunbar.
With any kind of alarm as to his condition now over, and with Froome continuing to joke about it, it would appear that the 34-year-old is back on track, training, and building up for whatever his first 2020 race may be, with all efforts focused on reclaiming the kind of form that has seem him win his previous four Tours.
On training camp... or maybe not 🙄😂 No really, I am 😁 pic.twitter.com/HpvyFik1W6January 10, 2020