Defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) welcomed the unveiled route of the 2014 race at the Palais des Congres, telling Cyclingnews that he liked the parcours Christrian Prudhomme and ASO had pieced together.
Initial stand-out features from next year’s race include a grand depart in Yorkshire, England and a return to the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix on stage 5 from Ypres and Arenberg Porte du Hainaut. Several sectors of pave have been included from the one-day Monument and when the Tour hit the cobbles in 2010 they helped to produce one of the most memorable days of racing in recent Tour de France history.
Froome admitted that cobbles would take him out of his natural element but stressed that the likes of Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador would find themselves in a similar scenario. Contador was present during the Tour’s last venture onto the pave producing a crucial ride in his defence of his then Tour title.
But Froome called the 2014 route balanced; adding that a Tour route should indeed test any aspiring champion’s skill over a number of terrains and scenarios.
“I still feel like there’s more I can work on,” he told Cyclingnews.
“I’m always looking to improve and I hope that the experiences from this year are something I can take into next year.”
Froome was finally asked whether the possible inclusion of Bradley Wiggins in Sky’s Tour line up could act as a hindrance rather than a help. Ever quick to deflect the mere possibility of friction within the team, Froome reiterated that the pair would act professional if the 2012 race winner was chosen to ride.
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