He is referring to his attempt to stay focused; to dispel any lingering doubt that the toll sport has taken on his body could deny him the fifth Tour de France crown he dreams of.
Froome however loosened the blinders just enough to start a side project, as an advisor – and investor in – cycling tech company Hammerhead.
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The Briton says he enjoyed using Hammerhead’s bike computers so much that he accepted an invitation to help develop the products.
His feedback has already led to the integration of new features into the brand’s Karoo 2 unit.
Now he also owns a stake in Hammerhead, and the company is sponsoring Froome’s new team, Israel Start-up Nation.
“It was an incredible opportunity for me to have this first hand experience with a partner, to develop something that we professional cyclists want to see on our main units,” said Froome. Ville AM
“I really love cycling. I am really passionate about the materials I use and run with. Bikes these days are turning more to this digital and technical side of things. Training is more data-driven than ever.
“It’s a fascinating area and I really like all of these aspects. “
Froome on his Hammerhead investment
Froome’s condominium in Hammerhead saw him join the ever-growing ranks of sports investors.
LeBron James, Serena Williams, David Beckham and Andy Murray are among the A-listers who have translated their athletic success into commercial wallets.
While it can also prove to be financially successful, Froome’s is more of a passionate project and a way to stay in cycling after his racing days are over.
“There are several different aspects to this for me,” he says.
“There is certainly the commercial aspect. But also, more than anything, I would like to stay involved in the sport beyond my career.
“I’m not just going to get to the end of the year where I retire, hang up and quit the sport.
“That’s one of the things, as I get closer to the end of my career, I can get more and more involved – and hopefully after the career, even more involved. “
Some riders have questioned whether Froome’s struggles to regain form that had gleaned seven Grand Tours since his crash meant his race was almost over.
The former Team Sky pilot, who turned 36 this month, is adamant it isn’t.
“It’s only natural that I start to think about life beyond racing,” he says. “But I’m still a few years away. I’m not about to retire anytime soon.
Why the fifth Tour de France “would be huge”
Froome is driven by his quest for a fifth Tour de France, which would see him equal a record held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
“That would be huge,” he said, his voice growing more and more lively.
“I mean, I’m so close. Having won four Tours, I also came second and third. I am right there at the border of history. It’s a huge motivation for me.
He will be among the riders chasing the yellow jersey when the Tour kicks off in Brest on June 26, although he is realistic about his chances this year.
“For the immediate future, my main goal is to just go back to previous levels. I still have work to do, ”he says.
“I’m much closer to the longer efforts – your longer 20-30 minute type intervals. But I’m still missing out on more explosive, shorter things – the 1-2-3 minutes, sort of peak power.
This lack of power is a consequence of the fractured femur that Froome suffered in that horrific accident in training two years ago.
And that’s where his work with Hammerhead paid off. At its request, the company incorporated a function to measure the pedal power of each leg in real time. Gradually, his right side grew stronger and stronger.
“I have made good progress,” he says. “We’re less than half a percent of what we were before. I’m really happy with it.
Froome on age-defying Federer and Valverde
Froome spoke of taking inspiration from other athletes who have challenged the aging process.
Evergreen NFL quarterback Tom Brady is one of his role models, as is 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer, who turns 40 in August.
“Federer – you can’t fail to mention it, how he managed to keep his level up to almost 40. From a tennis player’s point of view, it’s pretty amazing,” says Froome.
“Glad to see the older guys play. It gives me a lot of motivation.
There is another example closer to home that Froome says he watches: Alejandro Valverde, the Spanish cyclist who returned in 2018 from a broken kneecap to become road racing world champion at the age of 38.
“He managed to become world champion a year and a half after his accident. And he’s still winning bike races now. So I certainly don’t see why it’s not possible, ”he says.
“I think a lot of it is mental stimulation. It’s easy to get a little complacent and bored as you get older. You do the same thing over and over again in endurance sport.
“To have data from previous years that you can compare and push yourself to reach those levels, I think that’s extremely important. I am certainly optimistic.