Froome to line out at RideLondon Classic ahead of Rio 2016 Olympics
Vuelta a España a possibility for Tour de France winner
Chris Froome (Sky) has announced that he will line out at next Sunday's RideLondon Classic before flying to Rio de Janeiro to compete in the road race and time trial at the Olympic Games.
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Fresh from all but sealing his third overall Tour de France victory by finishing with the other general classification contenders on Saturday's penultimate stage to Morzine, Froome confirmed that his next competitive outing would be a rare appearance on British roads.
"I'm looking forward to a bit of recovery after this race but it looks like next weekend I'm going to RideLondon as a one-day race before we fly as a team out to Rio,"
Froome said in Morzine on Saturday. "Then we'll fly as a team out to Rio and we'll be there almost a week before the race just to have a look at the roads a little more and start training a little more." Since joining Team Sky six years ago, Froome's lone appearances on British roads have come at that 2010 National Championships and the 2012 London Olympics, where he claimed bronze in the time trial.
"The last few years I haven't done much racing in the UK. I've really wanted to, but races like the Tour of Britain have coincided with the Vuelta, and the national championships being just before the Tour de France, it's a tricky time to include with all that travel time and tapering to get ready for the Tour," Froome said. "It will be a massive honour to go and engage with the British fans, and then to go from there straight out to Rio."
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Froome travelled to Rio last November to reconnoitre the Olympic courses, a trip that encouraged him to line out in the time trial. Tom Dumoulin, the favourite for gold in the time trial, broke his arm in a crash on stage 19 of the Tour, though the Dutchman is still hoping to compete in Brazil.
"I think it's a course that suits me well, with almost 1,000 metres climbing and 60 kilometres in length. It's going to be an extremely tough event," Froome said. "I took the decision to ride the time trial about six months ago and I've been working a lot on my time trialling this year with that in mind."
A fourth Vuelta a España appearance in five years is also pencilled into Froome's schedule, though a final decision on his participation might not be made until after the Rio Olympics. Froome placed second overall in both 2011 and 2014 and fourth in 2012, while he was forced out by a crash a year ago.
"Right now, possibly I might do the Vuelta this year," Froome said, though a Giro d'Italia in the coming seasons seems unlikely. "As it stands right now, with my focus being on the Tour, it's very difficult to commit to doing the Giro. I think it's very difficult to put together two Grand Tours like that. So obviously I'll also be giving a lot of thought about whether I'll be doing the Vuelta this year."
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