Froome: "Vuelta lead is a big milestone"

Chris Froome in race lead, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage 10 ITT

Sky's Chris Froome says that leading in the Tour of Spain is a huge milestone in his career - and it is also a way of bouncing back from an infection that has blighted his racing over the last two years.

"It's been overwhelming but definitely worth all the hard work," Froome said on the Tour of Spain's rest day "before I was too impulsive but now I've learned how to control my strength better."

"Now I'm much more consistent, and what's happened has come about as a result of good health and learning how to use my energy."

At the same time, Froome says that his great riding in Spain confirms he is finally over a infection from a rare water-borne parasite called Biharzia, that he picked up two years ago.

"It feeds off red blood cells and I took a treatment which I had to repeat just after the Tour de Suisse to kill it off, and I'm hoping that's the end of it."

His inconsistency caused by the illness, he believes, was what caused the team to decide not to

take him to the Tour de France this year. With an extremely late arrival on Sunday night at their hotel - after a 400-kilometre transfer - Sky has yet to discuss what tactics it will be using over the rest of the race.

"I'm going to try every day, the Angliru [next Sunday] will obviously be a crucial moment but we need to get there first. But with Bradley there as well we've got two cards to play."

"Nothing has really changed within the team."

Froome has never led a stage race before in his professional career, and has just one win, a stage of the Giro del Capo back in 2009.

"I'm going to be learning all the time. Xabier Zandio [team-mate] has been around the block a few times here in Spain."

"Of course I've got doubts, all riders always do, it's their natural condition, but I'm going to try every day."

Froome will soon be able to count on some extra support. His brother Jonathan and father Clive

are coming over to Spain today and will follow the race.

Froome also had thoughts for Txema Gonzalez, Sky's soigneur who died in the race the previous


"It's an honour to be in the [leader's] red jersey, with Txema in mind. If he was here then he would be smiling from ear to ear about it."

Related links

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.