After ruling himself out of contention for a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey, due to his ongoing recovery from his 2019 crash, Froome was named in Israel Start-Up Nation’s squad as road captain.
The team’s bid for yellow will be led instead by Michael Woods, while the likes of Dan Martin and sprinter André Greipel target stage wins.
“It’s going to be a fantastic experience for me, being in the Tour de France again,” said Froome, whose last appearance came with a runner-up finish behind his teammate Geraint Thomas in 2018, and whose last appearance in a non-leadership role dates back to his 2008 debut with Barloworld.
“It’s been almost a decade since I’ve been in the Tour in this kind of role, where I’m not thinking about trying to go for a result myself, but supporting the team as best I can.
“Obviously the dream scenario for me would be to try and go for a result on a stage, or something like that, but that’s very much secondary at the moment. The first goal is looking after Woodsy and keeping him out of trouble. You can definitely expect to see me fetching some bottles over the next few weeks.”
Froome echoed his team director Rik Verbrugghe, who argued the Tour de France could also serve as a sort of training exercise. Froome, who has just completed a two-week training camp in the French Alps, himself did not mention the possibility of riding the Vuelta a España later in the season but nevertheless said he hoped the Tour would help him make the next step in his recovery.
“I’m going to be trying to soak up as much as I can in terms of that racing I’ve missed the last couple of years – that intensity. I really hope that at least by being there I’m going to be able to use that to lift me up to being much closer to where I need to be.”
Speaking in the latest instalment of his YouTube vlog, Froome’s enthusiasm for the range of technology available to professional cyclists today was dampened by the UCI’s recent decision to ban glucose monitors.
The small devices, which attach to a rider’s arm and provide live information on metabolic function, had become increasingly common but the governing body, which permits heart rate monitors and power meters, felt it could endanger the spontaneity of racing.
“I love the technology, this is the technology I’ve been waiting for for years, to be able to accurately see what happens when you eat different foods, and to see what levels you’re at through different workouts, and make sure you’re fuelling properly for your workouts.
“Unfortunately, the UCI introduced a rule banning those sensors in competition. I don’t personally agree with that decision. I think from a safety point of view, at least ensuring athletes aren’t in a state of hypoglycaemia, where sugar levels are just so low that you basically make mistakes that can affect yourself and the people around you. I think that’s disappointing to see, just from a safety standpoint more than anything else.”
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