FILE PHOTO: Cycling – UAE Tour – Dubai, United Arab Emirates – February 23, 2020 Team Ineos’ Chris Froome before the race REUTERS/Satish Kumar Subramani
(Reuters) – The two-month delay to the Tour de France has given Chris Froome the opportunity to make up the training time he lost while recovering from a horrific crash last year, Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford has said.
The Tour de France had been scheduled to start on June 27 but was pushed back to Aug. 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Froome, 34, spent more than three weeks in hospital after breaking his neck, femur, elbow, hip and ribs in a high-speed crash while training for the Criterium du Dauphin in June.
The Briton returned to racing in February but was nowhere near peak condition and there were doubts whether he had enough time to get in shape for the gruelling 23-day race.
“The one thing about Chris is wow, the guy can train,” Brailsford told the Times here
“What he’s doing in his man cave over there — in the gym in the morning, on the turbo, the hours he is putting in on that thing — that hurts. To put himself through what he is doing is just insane. I think he sees it as an opportunity.
“If it gives him a little edge where he thinks he can train harder than the rest and make up for lost time when he was injured, he sees that as well as everybody else and he’s making the most of it.”
Froome won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and is one win away from the record held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford