Chris Froome says his decision not to ride the Tour Down Under, despite landing in Australia, was not a snub to the race, insisting his schedule was down to his training, his family and his season’s goals.
Froome touched down in Adelaide on Monday for a training block with Team Sky coach Tim Kerrison, before starting his season at the Herald Sun Tour on February 2.
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The two-time Tour de France winner rejected accusations that he didn’t race the Tour Down Under because a fee wasn’t reached with the organisers, instead saying he just wanted to continue his longstanding habits for preparing for the season.
We spoke to Chris Froome ahead of the 2016 season
“It’s definitely nothing against Down Under, but for the last five years I’ve only started racing in February and just at the moment I haven’t seen any reason to change that,” Froome told Australia’s News Corp.
“It wasn’t that I was specifically trying to avoid coming to Down Under or anything, but how it fitted in with my program at home.
“I’ve just had a little boy (Kellan, born in December) and I’ve been on a training camp already, if I was to come to Down Under it would have meant a lot of time away before my boy was even a month old.
“So at least this way I got an extra week at home before coming down here and that’s made it a lot easier.”
The Herald Sun Tour starts on February 2 with a short time trial through the heart of Melbourne.