Chris Froome is heading towards life without a saddle with the role of “road captain” – .

Chris Froome is heading towards life without a saddle with the role of “road captain” – .

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Chris Froome won’t add to Israel Start-Up Nation’s trophy cabinet during this year’s Tour de France, but he will create value for the team in other ways.

Froome will step down to act as “road captain” for Israel Start-Up Nation during this year’s Tour, the first time he has started the race without ambitions for the overall standings since 2013 .

Michael Woods – the man who stepped into Froome GC for this year’s Tour – is adamant that the seven-time Grand Tour winner could still have a huge role to play in ISN’s ambitions this summer. .

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“Froome is an invaluable asset, even when he’s not in his best shape,” said Woods. VeloNews.

Unintentional as it is, the use of the word “active” could be revealing.

Froome will be 37 when the Tour rolls out of Copenhagen in 2022, when his hopes for a yellow jersey could be definitely dashed. But with an open-ended contract with Israel Start-Up Nation and suggestions that he might want to continue with the team beyond retirement, Froome is set to add value to Sylvan Adams’ big-budget team yet. .

A role as road captain on this year’s Tour could prove Froome’s first step towards life out of the saddle with Adams and Co.

A road captain is a runner who takes the lead and passes information between runners and staff at the halfway point. They also generally serve as a rallying focal point for teammates, on and off the bike.

While Froome’s tactical and racing skills will prove to be a boon on the team bus, it might prove to be less useful for Woods and his teammate Dan Martin in the heat of the moment in France.

Finishing 10-20 minutes on any uphill stage, as Froome has done this season, can see it too far out of the action to help coordinate the team’s efforts.

Most of the team leadership that Froome provides this year will come from far away in the peloton or at pre-stage bus meetings.

Delivering value behind the scenes rather than in the saddle

Chris Froome and team support Sylvan Adams are both committed to the long haul. Photo : Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Froome’s ability to add to the team’s racing efforts during this year’s Tour will be limited. But his presence will ensure Adams’s congratulations elsewhere.

The 36-year-old is part of a Round Eight centering on Woods and Martin on the road, but is relying on potential good news on the tarmac.

Team talisman and Israeli champion Omer Goldstein will make his Tour debut after completing the team development program to reach the WorldTour. Canadian veteran Guillaume Boivin also deserves his first start in France.

The two selections tick a lot of boxes for the benefactor of the Israeli-Canadian team Adams and his plan to send an Israeli team from the WorldTour to the glory of the Tour.

Aging sprinter André Greipel also received a surprise summons for what will be his 11th Tour. “Le Gorille” is back on his way to victory this season, but he will likely be far down the pecking order for the quick arrivals in France.

The selections of Greipel and Froome could prove to be a win-win strategy for ISN.

If either plays a role in the race, the title will be worth its weight in gold. If they don’t deliver, there is one more story to tell. Froome’s resilience and tenacity to come back from a life-changing injury deserves a title as much as harsh criticism of his form.

While Woods has a great chance of winning stages and a top 10, Israel’s Start-Up Nation 2021 tour will be as much about establishing itself at the front of the pack and leveraging Adams’s big-budget investment, as much as it does. it either be through good vibrations or good results.

Having Froome on board will keep the team at the center, and their presence on the Tour ensures that the team doesn’t make an embarrassing admission that “Project Froome” has failed.

The symbolic potential of Froome’s selection also hints at his longer-term contribution to Israel Start-Up Nation.

Froome has an open contract and has made it clear that he would be interested in a role beyond retirement with Adams and Co. Whether that position is a place in the athletic director’s seat or somewhere further behind the scenes, a The role of road captain marks the first rearrangement of the saddle to the back room.

As a true fan of the sport, Froome has quietly sowed the seeds for a future in cycling over the past year, both with ISN and independently.

An investment in American cycling tech brand Hammerhead, affiliations with BKool and Quadlock, and the development of his own YouTube channel suggest that Froome is clearly not done with cycling yet.

“Sylvan, Chris, me, we’re in there for the long haul so we just want it to grow and improve,” said Woods.

Froome sees a longer-term future in cycling with Israel Start-Up Nation, and Adams sees a seasoned head and media magnet via the legend of the Grand Rider’s Tour.

Froome will not take his fifth yellow jersey this year and may never do. But Adams still has a lot to gain from him in the 2021 Tour and for years to come.


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