Chris Froome hits back at critics: ‘I’m not just going to throw in the towel’

The four-time Tour de France champion says those who doubt spur him on to keep trying to return to the top level

Chris Froome at the Tour de Romandie
(Image credit: Getty)

Having struggled to perform since returning from injury, Chris Froome has hit out at his critics, saying he’s not just going to throw in the towel and give up as he attempts to take back his place at the top of the sport.

“I have been getting a lot of reactions on social media recently from people who say ‘you’re done mate, you’re finished, you’ll never return to the top level,’” Froome said in his most recent YouTube video titled ‘Chris Hits Back!’

“I just laugh about that, because these people really don't know how serious my injuries were and how far I had to get to become a professional again. These people clearly don't know me as a person either. I'm not just going to throw in the towel because I haven’t reached that point yet.”

Froome crashed during a recon ride at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné, suffering serious injuries. His comeback in 2020 underwhelmed and he was subsequently left out of Ineos Grenadiers’ Tour de France squad, then switching teams to Israel Start-Up Nation for 2021.

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In four stage races since the start of the season, Froome hasn’t made a mark in the general classification, now returning to altitude for more training, his next race being a return to the Dauphiné before his comeback Tour de France at the end of June.

“I know I still have a lot of work to do, but that is what drives me and it gets me out of bed in the morning. The more criticism I get, the greater the motivation to do even more.”

In the video, Froome goes on to show him undergoing tests on his legs, which reveal the continued disparity in strength between his left and right legs is still something he has to work on.

“I’m feeling as if the racing is really helping me, even if I’m not showing much upfront," Froome said. "Just the intensity of being in the peloton is really helping me. Being in the wheels, in the bunch, it’s beginning to feel a bit easier now compared to a few months ago.

“The focus for me next is to shift a bit of body weight, I still feel a little bit bulky, I know I’m carrying a bit of extra muscle mass from all the gym work, but I’ve definitely got some fat to lose as well. Up at altitude, it’s always easier to push the limits.”