Chris Froome on dominance of young riders: ‘15-year-olds can get on Strava and see how Tour de France winners are training’

Froome shares his thoughts on how data has contributed to the rise of young stars

Chris Froome racing the 2021 Volta a Catalunya
(Image credit: Getty Images )

Chris Froome says he believes the emergence of dominant young riders can be explained by power data and apps like Strava.

The seven-time Grand Tour winner said that teenage riders can get use social media platforms to see exactly what kind of power, training sessions, and distance Tour de France winners are putting in to race at the highest level.

Froome, 36, admitted he is in the autumn of his career as he announced his investment in cycling computer company Hammerhead earlier this week. 

Speaking from an online press conference, Froome said: “When I first turned professional back in 2008. you didn't have much more than a speedo counting your speed and your kilometres on the bike. So obviously, things have changed over the years, there's been a much bigger drive and focus on power

“We've seen a huge rise in the number of young riders who are able to perform at such a high level so early on in their careers. I think that that directly is influenced by the amount of data available. 

“15 year olds can get onto Strava and see what Tour de France winners are doing in terms of training, in terms of hours on the bike, miles on the bike, altitude metres. 

“We're seeing basically kids coming in turning professional at the age of 19 and 20 and they're able to mix it with the best, even beat the best in the biggest races in the world.”

Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) has announced that he has put money into New York-based cycling technology firm Hammerhead, and its flagship head unit the Karoo 2. 

Hammerhead cycling computers are used by Froome's ISN team at WorldTour level. 

He said: “I recognise I'm in the latter part of my career now. I've always said that I'd love to be involved in cycling, even beyond my career. 

“It really is a pleasure for me, an honour for me to be able to work with a company like Hammerhead and see things stuff that I've wanted to see on the head unit for years, to see that actually being implemented weeks after I've brought it up with the development team. So it's a special relationship and hopefully one I'll keep long after my racing career is finished.”

Froome has been working his way back to fitness after a career-threatening crash suffered during the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné, which left him with multiple serious injuries including a broken femur. 

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His main goal had been to get back to full fitness to compete for a fifth yellow jersey in the 2021 Tour de France, but Froome admits he still has work to do: “I think the first thing is to get to back to feeling the way I was pre-crash, and I'm not there yet.

“I can't be talking about targeting an event when I don't feel as if I'm at that point of being competitive with the guys that are the highest level.”