Chris Froome will return to the Tour de France for the first time in three years as road captain of the Israel Start-Up Nation team. Froome, the four-time champion, missed the last two editions of the race following a horror accident that threatened to end his career.
The 36-year-old broke a femur, elbow and ribs in June 2019 after hitting a wall while training for the fourth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. He will give his support to Canadian team leader Michael Woods, while the rest of ISN’s roster has yet to be confirmed, but is expected to include Irishman Dan Martin, a former Tour stage winner. .
“After two years of absence from the Tour de France, I can’t wait to go back. It’s been a tough journey since my accident, but it’s been one of my biggest motivators, ”Froome said in a statement. “I have worked tirelessly to get to where I am and, although my ambitions this year are not those of a leader, I hope to bring my experience and support to the team as best I can as a as road captain. We have a strong contender in Michael Woods, and I can’t wait to give it my all for him and the team in the battle against Paris.
The Tour starts in Brest on Saturday June 26 and continues until Sunday July 18. Froome, who has already raced for Ineos Grenadiers, is a seven-time Grand Tour winner after also winning the Vuelta a Espana in 2011 and 2017 and the Giro d’Italia in 2018.
While his disappointing performance at this year’s Dauphiné has sparked some speculation that he will miss the Tour for a third time in a row, he has the backing of ISN sporting director Rik Verbrugghe. “As a four-time winner of the Tour, the value of his experience cannot be underestimated. It will be extremely useful for the team during the race, ”said Belgian Verbrugghe. “In terms of performance, I think we will see another improvement for the Dauphiné au Tour after our recent training camp in the Alps. We hope to see Chris progress step by step throughout the race.