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Chris Froome: Some people never race again after the kind of fractures I suffered

Chris Froome shows off his Israel Start-Up Nation 2021 kit
(Image credit: Israel Start-Up Nation)

Chris Froome has confirmed he will ride next week's Critérium du Dauphiné and then the Tour de France "if all goes well", convinced his form is "getting better with every week of training."

Froome has built his comeback and his move to the Israel Start-Up Nation team on targeting the Tour de France, even if there are no signs he will be competitive and able to challenge the likes of Tadej Pogačar, Primož Roglič or former teammate Geraint Thomas.

Froome last raced at the Tour de Romandie after also riding the Tour of the Alps. He went on the attack during stage 4 but otherwise failed to leave much of a mark on the race.

He suggested one reason for his limited performances was the extra muscle bulk he was carrying after a winter of special gym work in California. However, he hit back at criticism on social media and suggestions he should end his career.

Froome turned 36 on May 20 but has a multi-year contract with Israel Start-Up Nation has no plans to throw in the towel just yet.

"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," Froome said in a personal video on Youtube.

He dreams of taking a record-equalling fifth Tour de France victory but admitted to Italian television RAI that his return to full strength and Grand Tour fitness has taken longer than expected. However, he will line up in Brest on June 26 for the start of this year's Tour de France.

"I'm feeling better with every week of training. I'm not at the level to be up there with the best but I'm getting there slowly," Froome told RAI, speaking in Italian.

"I'm up at Teide in Tenerife at the moment with the team. There are lots of teams here training for the Tour de France. After this block, I'll ride the Dauphiné and the Tour if all goes well."

Froome crashed as he studied the time trial stage of the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné. He returned to racing in 2020 and completed the Vuelta a España after not being selected for the Ineos Grenadiers' Tour de France squad.

June 12 marks the second anniversary of Froome's terrible crash, which left him with a double femur fracture, multiple other fractures and a collapsed lung.

"I know that some people never race again after the kind of fractures I suffered. I'm very, very fortunate to have this chance to be in the peloton at the highest level again," Froome said, admitting it was the biggest challenge of his career.

"It's taking longer than what I thought it would but I'm working harder than before. I do more hours of work now than ever before, so it's hard, it's a long process, very long."

But not one he is afraid of facing.

"I haven't lost any of my motivation. I haven't lost the feeling of having a cycling life," he said.

"After my accident, my number one objective is to get back to the level I was before. I know it won't be easy and I'll have to push myself even harder but I'm optimistic that if I do all the work, I can get there in the future."

Froome last won a Grand Tour in 2018 when he came back from a crash and less serious injuries to win the Giro d'Italia with a long-range solo attack on the dirt roads of the Colle delle Finestre. He won the stage in Bardonecchia, gaining more than three minutes on Tom Dumoulin and sealing overall victory in Rome.

Froome has won the Tour de France four times and the Vuelta a España twice but his Giro win has a special place on his palmares.

"It was my best win of my Grand Tours," he says, pleasing the Italian television channel.

"To win that way, after being four minutes down and thanks to a spectacular stage on the Colle delle Finestre was incredible. That day changed my cycling career, it was perhaps the best day on the bike in my life."