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Chris Froome looking to add Tour of the Alps to race programme

Chris Froome (Team Sky) has revealed he is considering adding the week-long Tour of the Alps to his race calendar as he looks to boost his form after a problematic start to the season.

Froome is racing just his second event this week at the Volta a Catalunya, after deciding to skip the UAE Tour last month while he recovered from his high-altitude debut at the Tour Colombia 2.1. He crashed at speed during stage 2, losing 14 minutes but avoided serious injury and started stage 3 to the mountain finish of Vallter 2000.  

At present, Froome's next scheduled race following the Volta a Catalunya is the Tour de Yorkshire at the start of May. Froome rode the Tour of the Alps, which takes place between April 22 and 26, last season as part of his preparation for the Giro d'Italia but had not originally planned to ride the Austrian-Italian stage race this year.

"Potentially, I might add in the Tour of the Alps. I'll get a good training block in after this and then look into adding the Tour of the Alps, the Tour de Yorkshire and get a few more race days," Froome told a small group of reporters, including Cyclingnews, at the start of stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya.

The Tour de Yorkshire was pencilled in on Froome's racing calendar back in January, but it now seems far more certain with the team due to launch their new look as Team Ineos ahead of the race.

Team Sky stopped questions to Froome about the new team ownership as was the case at Tirreno-Adriatico. Team manager Dave Brailsford also refused to respond to question on Ineos and Dr. Freeman before the start of Milan-San Remo.

Stepping stones to the Tour de France

The Tour of the Alps and the Tour de Yorkshire will be key stepping stones in Froome's season, towards his main goal of claiming a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title in July. He will no doubt be hoping to enjoy a bit more fortune than he has done so far this year.

Having skipped the UAE Tour, the Volta a Catalunya was a chance for Froome to test his legs in a general classification battle for the first time in 2019. However, a crash in the final 40 kilometres of stage 2 has put an end to his ambitions. Froome came down heavily on his right side and lost over 14 minutes in the GC battle, but he is trying to keep perspective on it.

"I obviously took a bit of a spill yesterday but thankfully it was all superficial. It took the wind out of me a little bit, but that's bike racing," said Froome.

"It was on a sketchy corner with some road works. It went from being in the sunlight to being dark. I think that I'd hit one of the patches that had been worked on the road and I just lost my front wheel."

Froome's crash is not the end to Team Sky's hopes for overall success, with young Colombian Egan Bernal still in the running. Though there are opportunities for Froome to take a stage win this week, he says that he will be playing the team game.

"To look after Egan," he said when asked what his goals were for the remainder of the race.

"He's just won Paris-Nice, I'll try to do everything I can to contribute to him getting a result this week. He's in great shape and he's in a good position to fight for the win."

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