Chris Froome has defended his recent racing performances and hit back at critics who think that his career is over. The four-time Tour de France winner is still searching for something close to his best form after recovering from the 2019 Critérium du Dauphinè crash that almost ended his career.
The 35-year-old missed out on Tour de France selection last year and moved from Ineos Grenadiers to Israel Start-Up Nation on a long-term deal and with the hope of winning a record-equaling fifth Tour de France title.
Since the start of the year, Froome has struggled for results with his best GC performance coming at the start of the campaign with 47th in the UAE Tour.
In a video posted on Youtube, he admitted to feeling ‘out of his depth’ in March’s mountainous Volta a Catalunya and that he’s still aiming to lose weight before reaching what he hopes will be a better condition.
Froome also took the opportunity within the video to hit back at critics on social who have called time on his career.
“Obviously over the last couple of races I’ve seen quite a lot of people on social media getting in touch and saying ‘listen, mate, hang up your bike. You’re done. You’re finished. You’re never going to get back there.’ It just makes me laugh,” Froome said.
“First of all, I don’t think people know how bad my injuries were and how far I’ve had to come just to get back to a professional level of racing. Those people clearly don’t know me as a person either. I’m not just going to hang it up. I know that I can get there.
“It’s going to take time and I’ve got a lot of work to do but I’m prepared to do that work. That’s what drives me and what gets me out of bed in the morning. I thoroughly love the sacrifice and the whole regime and work side of being a professional cyclist and I’m not just going to throw in the towel because I haven’t reached that point yet.”
Froome’s next race comes in the form of the Critérium du Dauphiné but before that, he will head back to Tenerife for a block of altitude where he will continue to work on his recovery and losing additional muscle he built up during his recovery.
“I’m going to keep working and putting in the hard hours,” he said in the video which also contained insight and detail in how he is coping with muscle inbalances.
“A big focus for me over the next few weeks is to shift a bit of body weight. I still feel a bit bulky. I know that I’m carrying a bit of extra muscle mass from all the off-the-bike work that I’ve been doing. I’ve got some fat to lose so there’s a big focus on nutrition.
“In the meantime, while I’m not upfront and winning bike races I still feel that there’s still so much that I can still add to the team on and off the bike. Being part of a new project that’s focused on the Grand Tours there are a lot of things to work on and a lot of things to really develop and I’m enjoying that side too. It’s a whole new challenge.”
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