Chris Froome says that the Tour of the Alps will be a good test of his form, and says that the five-day race provides the style of racing that he needs at this point in the season. The race organisers confirmed earlier this month that Froome would return to the race as he looks to develop his form ahead of the Tour de France this summer.
Froome made his debut at the Tour of the Alps last season as he prepared for a tilt at the Giro d’Italia, finishing fourth in the general classification. The race’s short stages make for an aggressive style of riding right from the start, which is difficult to control.
“I’m pleased to be returning to the Tour of the Alps this year,” Froome said. “I really enjoyed the race in 2018 and it was a big boost for me heading into the Giro d’Italia. It’s exactly the type of racing I need at this point in my year. The Tour of the Alps is a tough, punchy race which will be a good test of where I’m at. I’m looking forward to getting going.”
The race organisers also confirmed the riders that will join Froome at the race for Team Sky, with Kenny Elissonde, David de la Cruz and former Baby Giro winner Pavel Sivakov in the line-up.
With the team set to become Team Ineos at the end of April, the Tour of the Alps will be the last outing for many of the riders, including Froome, in the colours of Team Sky. Froome is expected to head to the UK after the conclusion of the race to make his debut at the Tour de Yorkshire at the start of May.
Froome has had a slow start to the season, racing just twice so far. He lined up as a support rider for Egan Bernal and Ivan Sosa at the Tour Colombia 2.1 in February and then missed the subsequent UAE Tour. His European debut at the Volta a Catalunya did not go to plan after he crashed hard on the second stage. The fast-paced action at the Tour of the Alps should provide Froome with the perfect chance to get back up to speed.
Team Sky directeur sportif Nicolas Portal believes that Froome is heading in the right direction and that the race will be good for his preparations to take a fifth Tour de France title in July.
“Chris is on track. We decided to support him with a strong squad: we’ve got riders who are looking towards the next couple of months and some guys who are looking at the Giro d’Italia. Our last stage race as Team Sky is, of course, a special one. We will want to shine,” said Portal.
“The Tour of the Alps is really well organised and it’s a beautiful race. The stages are hard, and it will be great for Chris at this time in the season. Chris used the race, last year, to push himself and work hard for the Giro. He liked how the race went, the quality of the race, and now he knows it will be good for his build-up to the Tour de France.”
Team Sky for the Tour of the Alps: Chris Froome, Kenny Elissonde, David De La Cruz, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pavel Sivakov, Salvatore Puccio and Leonardo Basso.
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