As the most OK Grand Tour rider of his generation,is used to honors, awards, and accolades. One thing he is not used to at the – the race he dominated over the past decade and made him famous – is carrying water bottles for others. In cycling jargon, it’s called being a “domestique,” and seeing a in that role will be quite unusual at cycling’s biggest event. But a bit more than two years after a horrific, career-threatening crash that left him on the side of a road with multiple serious injuries, to play the sideman part with the mindset of a rookie.
“I’m excited about this year’s upcoming start,” the 36-year-old Froome said ahead of Saturday’sin the western port city of Brest. “Brest was where I first discovered the in 2008 as a neo-pro. I’m heading to the Tour de France this with a similar mindset as in 2008. I’m looking to gain something through de France.” For the first 2013, when he won his first Tour, Froome won’t be on the starting line with personal ambitions. He has been tasked with team and will support leader Michael Woods.
“Typically, going into the Tour de France, I got a lot of pressure on my shoulders as a (top) contender,” Froome said. “That’s not the case this. , I’m only (…) trying to do the best job possible to support the guys around me. For almost the last decade, I went to the doing a similar job for me. It feels great to be on the other side and give back a little bit.” So much has changed for Froome since that during the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine, an event he had been using to fine-tune his bid for a record-equaling fifth Tour title. The accident left him with a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow, and fractured ribs, but it also cost him his spot in the Team Ineos’ after.
After returning, Froome did not return to his previous best level and lost his status as the leader of the mighty British outfit. After it was announced his contract could not be renewed and that he would be , Froome was left out of the Ineos roster for the 2020 Tour due to poor form. The Kenyan-born cyclist is still far from the level that helped him secure the Spanish Vuelta (in 2011 and 2017) and the (2018), in addition to his four Tour crowns. He was 47th at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this and has not produced a Top 10 result during the season. “I would have hoped the process would have been faster,” Froome said. “It’s an ongoing process. I’m thrilled with where I’m at in terms of left-right leg balance. I think from that side of things, I can certainly say that’s behind me. At the moment, I’m a lot more focused on the work on the bike and getting back to my former level, having missed so much racing from obviously the downtime of the accident and then straight into the COVID lockdown . As well.”