After a week of post-Tour de France Criteriums, Chris Froome safely navigated one final racing appearance at the RideLondon Classic and will now jet off to Rio for the Olympic Games where the Team Sky rider is aiming for gold in the road race and time trial. In 2012, Froome was second to teammate Bradley Wiggins in the Tour and claimed bronze in the time trial a week later.
"Thankfully, we are going out there tomorrow morning, so we are going to have a few days to acclimatise and get ready before the race," Froome said on the start line in regards to his travel plans for the Olympic Games before finishing in 41st place.
While several athletes have raised concerns over the Rio climate and effects of travel, Froome brushed aside any suggestions the weather will be a deciding factor.
"Hopefully, temperature-wise it shouldn't be too different to here. It's hot today and we have had a hot Tour de France, so hopefully our bodies will be used to the heat already," he said. "It's more about getting used to the time zones, but four hours' difference [to Central European Time] is not massive."
Last month, Froome sealed back-to-back Tour de France titles and the third of his career following his debut success in 2013. Froome has repeated his goals for the 2016 season were the Tour and Olympic Games and having met the first of those ambitions, is focused on securing gold.
Froome visited Rio in November to reconnoitre the courses alongside Great Britain Elite road coach Rod Ellingworth and Great Britain mechanic Alan Williams but will do further training on the Brazilian roads to familiarise himself before the August 6 road race and August 10 time trial
"I imagine we will do a few good training days out on the course and get a good look at what we are up against," Froome said.
"I went out there in November. It's tough; it's a really tough course. It is a mix of everything. It is predominantly a climbers' course, but also those first few laps with the cobbles are definitely going to mix things up a bit."
While Froome has proven his capabilities as a grand tour rider with three Tour wins, the 31-year-old hasn't replicated his form in one-day races with all 36 of his wins coming from stage races. Third place at the 2008 Giro dell'Appennino is arguably Froome's best one-day result while from from six starts, he is yet to finish a road Worlds.
However, Froome is confident he can adapt to the different racing style and showcase his aggressive approach as he did at the Tour with late attacks on stages 8 and 11.
"It's very different. In the Tour you are thinking very much about riding each stage in the most conservative way possible, staying at the front not to lose time, whereas for a one-day race like Rio, it's basically about putting it all on the line on one day," he said of the differences between stage and one-day racing.
"It's a bit more of a gamble. You don't have tomorrow to back it up if things don't go well today. It's a very different kind of event."
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