|Photo: Michelle Cound / www.Chris-Froome.com|
About a year ago nobody talked about Chris Froome. The ex-Kenyan had been sidelined by illness and injuries for a long time but in the Vuelta España he showed his true potential. Without yet having signed a new contract for the following season, Chris Froome ended second overall in the Spanish Grand Tour where he probably would have won had Team Sky not having him wait for Bradley Wiggins in the mountains.
Nine months later Froome showed himself on the biggest scene of them all, being the strongest rider in the Tour de France taking second place overall. An achievement proving that Chris Froome isn't just a onetime wonder.
"It hasn't been the easiest year by any means. I think many people were questioning if the Vuelta performance last year was a once off, so to come back and do it again at the Tour de France has been very reassuring", Chris Froome tells me.
Now it's time for the Vuelta España and if you thought Chris Froome only had been focusing on the Tour de France this year, you're dead wrong. Froome has been aiming at the Vuelta from the beginning of the season, but he also knows that with Alberto Contador in the race it will be a tough one.
"Alberto has proved on many occasions that he is a great Grand Tour rider and I'm sure he will be raring to go at this year's Vuelta after his ban. I've never raced against him, so I'm not 100% sure what to expect. For me it will be difficult to ride two Grand Tours back to back, especially with the Olympics between, but I will go to the Vuelta with a positive mentality & hope to ride to the best of my ability", he explains.
In the Tour de France this year it was clear to see that Chris Froome had more in the tank and he got to show and looking ahead Froome is also very clear about his ambitions next year.
"I would be disappointed not to be allowed to at least try and win the Tour de France next year", he says.
Vuelta España starts on Saturday the 18th of August and to help Chris Froome take the win Team Sky sends the following riders to Spain: Juan Antonio Flecha, Sergio Henao, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Rigoberto Urán and Xabier Zandio.