Froome considers skipping 2015 Tour de France

After taking a look at the the parcours for the 2015 Tour de France, Chris Froome has admitted he is not sure he will ride it. The Team Sky leader suggested that the Giro d'Italia suits him better, and he may then afterwards aim at the Vuelta a Espana and the World Championships, instead of looking to repeat his 2013 Tour victory. Froome was not in Paris for the route presentation, instead attending a Team Sky camp in the south of Britain. 

"The team and I will have to give it some careful consideration before we make any commitments to which of the grand tours I will compete in," he said in a statement on his personal website.

"I see myself as quite a balanced GC rider and the Giro with its inclusion of a long TT of 60km and tough uphill finishes will make it a well balanced race which suits me well. If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win."

The 2015 Tour de France features only one individual time trial of 14km, a short 28km team time trial but has seven mountain stages.

"There's no two ways about it, next year's Tour is going to be about the mountains. There's very little emphasis on time trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains. With 6 mountaintop finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race," said Froome.

"In the past I've only targeted one grand tour each season but it could be a good opportunity for me to focus seriously on two. It's still early days though and we'll have to sit down and put our heads together as a team to work out what 2015 is going to look like for us."

The 2015 Tour will also feature cobblestones. Froome crashed out of the 2014 Tour before getting a taste of the pave and insisted that they would not be a factor in his decision to ride the race next year.

"I actually quite enjoy the challenge of riding on the cobbles. It's a difficult and stressful obstacle for us to overcome when it's part of a race like the Tour de France, but we're all in the same boat and there's no reason why I'd be any worse off than any of the other GC contenders," he said.

"The cobbles were not the cause of my departure from the Tour this year, it was the crash on the previous stage which could have happened to anybody. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Froome deflected the pressure by naming Alberto Contador as the favourite for the 2015 Tour de France. The Spaniard has already confirmed he will attempt the Giro-Tour double in 2015. 

"Alberto Contador will be the man to beat," Froome said.

"You can never discount the likes of Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and other GC contenders like Purito (Rodriguez) and Valverde. Alberto is the guy who stands out though.  He came back after his injury in an amazing way to win the Vuelta España title this year and I expect him to be just as strong next season."

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