Chris Froome (Team Sky) is hoping to emulate his former teammate Bradley Wiggins by turning Tour de France success into an Olympic medal. In 2012, Wiggins went from the top step in Paris to the top step in Hampton Court Palace after claiming victory in the Olympic time trial and recently tipped Froome to do the same.
Froome was third on that day with Tony Martin separating the pair in the final standings. This time, Froome goes into the time trial event as one of the favourites after dominant performances in both the Tour de France's time trials. He also stands a chance in the road race but admits that it is a much less controllable outcome.
"I'm going to Rio in good form and I'm really looking forward to it," Froome said in an interview with the RideLondon organisers, ahead of the race this weekend. "One day races are always hard to predict, but the road race course is one that should hopefully suit me and so I will be giving it my best shot. I rode well in the time trials at the Tour, finishing second and first, and so hopefully I can continue that form and bring home a medal for Team GB."
Froome is set to compete at RideLondon on Sunday, his first race on British roads since the 2012 Olympic Games. He rode a past version of the one-day race back in 2011 when it was introduced as a test event for the London Games. Froome's other appearances at British races include the 2010 national time trial and the 2009 and 2007 Tour of Britain.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Froome said of his return to British roads. "Every year there are more and more British fans who come out to every corner of France to see the Tour. They really make their presence felt and give brilliant backing to me, Team Sky and the other British riders.
While there are some hills, the course is not one that intrinsically suits Froome's climber's build. It's likely that he will play a support roll for the likes of Ben Swift and Danny van Poppel, but Froome keeps mum on exactly what the plan will be on Sunday.
"I don't want to give away too much," he said. "We're definitely coming to try to win the race. We've got a strong line-up that covers a lot of bases. It's a race that can go a number of different ways depending on the conditions and how hard the teams choose to ride, so whilst we have really strong options if it does come down to a sprint, we'll be well prepared for all eventualities. It's a race that does have a proper Classics feel to it, with changing types of road condition and enough in there to make it tricky for the sprinters if it's ridden full on."
All of Froome's Olympic teammates, Stephen Cummings, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas, will be competing in London. The quartet will head out to Rio de Janeiro the day after the event. Following the Olympic Games, Froome will ride the Vuelta a Espana.
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