Froome has not yet obtained a contract extension with Team Ineos for beyond 2020 and is determined to aim for a fifth victory on the circuit in the last years of his career despite the terrible injuries he suffered there are a year during a crash at the Criterium du Dauphine. However, last year’s winner Egan Bernal said he will not sacrifice his chances for that of a teammate and Geraint Thomas also having a leadership role, Froome knows he may have to leave the Ineos team to obtain leadership and a corresponding salary.
Froome does not seem concerned about the idea of a divorce from the Ineos team, but Dumoulin warned him against the surrender of the Grand Tour strength and capabilities of a winning Tour de France team.
“It made me think of my own problems,” said Dumoulin, sad about Froome’s situation, in an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws, recalling the emotions of negotiating his early exit from the Sunweb team so that he can move on to Jumbo-Visma.
“It was not fun. I don’t know if I should believe the messages, but if he wants to change during the season, it will take energy, “warned Dumoulin.
Cyclingnews understands that two teams have approached Froome with interest in a mid-season or end-of-year transfer, the Israeli Start-Up nation being considered the most likely candidate as it prepares for its Tour debut from France in September.
If a mid-season transfer were to take place, all parties involved and the UCI would have to agree, but this would give the British driver complete leadership on the Tour.
Dumoulin suggested that he felt better sharing the responsibility for leadership.
“I’m very different from last year,” said Dumoulin, exactly one year after his last race due to a shock and a knee tendon injury he suffered at the start of the Giro d’Italia.
“Now I am no longer alone. We will soon run for the one who is best placed. If Steven Kruijswijk is the best on the team, Tom Dumoulin will run for Steven then Primož Roglič will race for Steven. If Primož is the best, the team rolls for him. If it turns out that I’m the best, I ride for myself. It means that you are a very strong team. ”
Dumoulin suggested that Froome could be in the same situation if he stayed at Team Ineos, recognizing that the road would ultimately reveal who is the strongest rider and therefore the team leader.
“I can’t speak for Froome. He must start from his own strength, which is possible with each team. In the last ten kilometers of a climb, it’s each man for himself. No matter which team he rides on, we will have to beat him too, “said Dumoulin.