The four-time winner of the race joined his new team in the offseason with the stated ambition of winning a fifth yellow jersey.After a horrific crash before a stage in the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné time trial, Froome made an impressive comeback in the peloton, an admirable feat given the extent of his injuries.
However, the Briton has struggled for form throughout 2021 and his side have been shy about making it to the next Tour.
Canadian Michael Woods was confirmed as the team leader on the Tour on Monday, with stage wins for 34 and a high place in the overall standings.
Perhaps revealing, Israel Start-Up Nation has delayed announcing the rest of the team who will ride in support of Woods, with growing speculation around the possible inclusion of Froome.
The team have already confirmed that his contract, worth 5-6 million euros per year, does not stipulate that he is obliged to participate in the Tour if he is sufficiently fit, and recently a sporting director indicated that the August Vuelta a España best Grand Tour for Froome to target.
It was far from six months ago, when an optimistic Froome confidently declared “nothing is holding me back” in his goal of winning another yellow jersey.
Since then, the 35-year-old has spent several weeks training at altitude, but he has yet to see his dedication and efforts pay off in the races, with TV cameras often showing footage of him falling from the air. rear of the peloton.
Froome’s positive personality and upbeat messages have started to falter in recent months, admitting he’s far out of form and conceding that a return to his previous heights might be a step too far.
No matter how supportive and understanding his team has for him, they will no doubt be unhappy with the return on their investment so far.
They signed him on a long-term contract, which is expected to last for three seasons, with Froome saying at the time that he would end his career with WorldTour roster.
Whether or not he will return to the Tour de France is a growing doubt.