Froome to ride criteriums in Kazakhstan and Netherlands before the Vuelta a Espana

Chris Froome (Team Sky) will ride two lucrative criteriums in Kazakhstan and the Netherlands next weekend before heading to Nimes for the start of the Vuelta a Espana on August 19.

Froome is currently training with several teammates in Châtel, near Morzine in France, combining recovery from the Tour de France with a block of altitude training for the Vuelta a Espana. He is hoping to become the first rider to win the Tour de France – Vuelta a Espana double since the Spanish Grand Tour was moved from April to late summer in 1995.

The Team Sky leader took part in a series of lucrative criteriums after winning his fourth Tour de France in Paris on July 23, reportedly earning close to 40,000 Euro each time he pinned on a number and put on a show in races in Belgium and the Netherlands.

He is one of 15 big-name riders invited to a special criterium in the Kazakhstan capital Astana on Saturday August 12 and will then ride the Profwielerronde Etten-Leur criterium in southern Holland on Sunday August 13. The organisers of the Dutch race have arranged a private jet for the flight from Astana to ensure that Froome arrives in the Netherlands in time for the three-event race in the afternoon.

The Astana criterium will celebrate the 2017 Expo being held in Kazakhstan, with Fabio Aru, Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and several riders from the Astana team also due to take part.

The Profwielerronde Etten-Leur race has also attracted Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Dutch national champion Ramon Sinkeldam (Team Sunweb) s it strives to be the biggest criterium on the calendar. Landa has recently been signed up for the race and will reportedly travel with Froome on the private jet after racing in Kazakhstan.

"We have been the biggest criterium in the Netherlands for three years in terms of the rider budget. We are not pleased with just one top rider," race organiser Ronnie Buiks said in a press conference on Friday confirming the big-name field for the criterium.

"In March, I said that we go after all the jersey winners of the Tour. Due to the busy cycling calendar, it's difficult but I won't make it easy for them to say no. We can now say that they have the most expensive field ever."

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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.