Chris Froome will race the World Championships on Sunday in what is probably his last race of a roller-coaster 2014 season, with the aim of supporting teammate Ben Swift in his bid for the world title.
“Ideally we’d want to see Swifty get into the rainbow jersey,” said Froome, who was recently second overall in the Vuelta a España.
“We’ve got a team that is pretty much built around him. The Worlds is always a difficult event, and unpredictable, but the way we’re reading it, it could come down to a more selective sprint.
“We’ve got direction from [soon-to-retire] David Millar as road captain and it’s his last race so obviously this is quite a big one for him, too.
“One day races aren’t my forte but I’m happy to play a role for Swifty and do whatever is needed when the time comes in the race.”
Froome will end his season, which he understandably describes as being “full of ups and downs,” on Sunday. He says he is happy ending the season having “come back on track” in the Vuelta and feeling he has now hit “relatively good form.”
As for Alberto Contador, the first rider to beat Froome in a Grand Tour in two years at the Vuelta, the Sky rider believes that “the way he bounced back from his injury shows he’s going to be the guy to beat next year. And I imagine he’s just as hungry to get back to the Tour next year.”
Froome also roundly rejected the idea that Vincenzo Nibali won the 2014 Tour de France simply because he and Contador had crashed out injured.
“Nibali’s always been a Grand Tour contender, it’s not the first he’s won.
“You can’t go back and say this guy or that guy would have won, that doesn’t make sense... Nibali won it fair and square,” he argued.
Asked about his own chances mid to long-term in one-day racing, Froome says he could turn his attention more strongly towards them in the future, particularly if - as he quietly hopes - the Olympic road race course in Rio turns out to be very hilly. Then there is also, he said, the chance of trying one day to win a Classic with a lot of climbing, like Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Froome has yet to decide what his first race will be in the 2015 season, but he says that he still has it in him to go on battling for victories in three-week stage races. “2013 was obviously a dream season, but I don’t see why it’s not something I can do again in the future.” he concluded.