With the World Championships done and dusted and the season all but over, Chris Froome can now put a tough 12 months behind him. This year has been far from easy for the Team Sky rider, who has seen crashes, injuries and illness deal a hammer blow to his big ambitions. He hopes, however, that those experiences can help him get back on top in 2015.
“It has been a tough year but I’m really happy with how it has worked out,” he told Sky Sports News. “Cycling is so unpredictable and when you get everything that works in your favour, you should take that with open arms. But this year has been a lot about learning how to deal with situations where it doesn’t go quite right.”
After the highs of winning the Tour de France in 2013, Froome had been hoping to become the first rider to defend the title in almost 20 years. His Tour dreams came to an abrupt halt in the first week, after a series of crashes left him with a broken wrist and hand. Froome immediately reset his sights on the Vuelta a España, where he went on to finish second behind Alberto Contador.
The British rider says that he can take heart from being able to come back at the Spanish Grand Tour. “More than anything I’m just glad that, after the setbacks at the Tour and the injuries early season with my lower back, injuries with my wrist, my hand, I’m all healed up now.
“The Vuelta was proof that those injuries aren’t going to be an issue for me going forward. The Vuelta helped me get to the end of the season in good form again, which I would hope will transfer through to the winter.”
Froome’s season is officially over, although he will make an appearance at the Saitama criterium in Japan along with Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan. For all intents and purposes, Froome has begun his off season and he is looking towards the Grand Boucle once again. The 29-year-old is determined to don the yellow jersey again, but history has shown him that it’s easier said than done.
“After winning the Tour de France, anything short of that is almost seen as a failure. It’s easy to get carried away with that sentiment, but in reality, cycling is not that controllable or predictable,” he said.
“You have to go with it when it deals you a rough hand. You have to get on with it and focus on the next thing. That has been a big part of the experience and what I have learnt.”