Chris Froome has said he does not yet have the form that allows him to fight for the general classification at the Volta a Catalunya, with teammates Michael Woods and Dan Martin leading Israel Start-Up Nation’s challenge this week. However Froome is looking for progression in his fitness with the start of the Tour de France less than 100 days away.
Froome is one of the headline riders at this year’s Volta a Catalunya, and interest in how he will perform with his new team is high.
Since he first won the Tour de France in 2013, Froome has frequently used the Volta a Catalunya as a way of building his form for future goals. In seven previous appearances, he has finished in the top ten on just two occasions, placing sixth overall in 2014 and eighth overall in 2016.
This year would appear to be no different, with Froome suggesting that he would not be among the contenders to win overall.
“It’s good that to have a good team of guys here, and we’ll look to be up there fighting for the victory with Dan Martin and Mike Woods. It’s a good week ahead,” Froome told reporters, including Cyclingnews, before the start of stage 1 in Calella.
“I’m just coming off an altitude training camp, so it’ll be good to see what my progression is. I know I’m not going to be personally fighting for the victory here, I won’t be at that level yet, but I’m hoping to see some progression.”
Asked if his condition was where he wanted it to be, Froome said: “I’m really just taking it one week at a time, building up and doing the best I can, see where we get to for the Tour.”
Froome has had a low-key start to the 2021 season, placing 47th at the UAE Tour, his first outing with Israel Start-Up Nation since joining from Ineos.
His next race after the Volta a Catalunya is rumoured to be the Tour de Romandie, although he has yet to confirm his participation.
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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