Chris Froome, despite skipping Tirreno-Adriatico, is progressing well towards the Tour de France in July said Team Sky’s boss, Dave Brailsford. An injured back forced him out of the stage race this week and to train at home.
“He was second in the Tour de France the year he skipped Paris-Nice,” Brailsford told journalists including Cycling Weekly. “The condition that he’s in at the minute… It would’ve been nice to race here, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think it’s of any great concern from a physical perspective.”
Last week, Froome said that he had an inflammation in his lower back. Sky withdrew him from Tirreno-Adriatico and pulled Richie Porte from the Paris-Nice start list as a replacement.
“Chris has suffered a slight inflammation to the sacroiliac joint in the lower back,” explained team doctor, Alan Farrell. “We have chosen to withdraw him … so he can focus on recovering and preparing for the Volta a Catalunya.”
Froome uploaded photographs to Twitter of his training ride two days ago. He rode through the snow to cover a pass near his base in Monaco. Brailsford said that he also trained yesterday.
“It was precautionary, rather than aggravate it it’s better to rest it,” Brailsford explained. “He has been out on the bike and he’s racing next week.”
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Thursday that Froome suffered back problems last year after the World Championships in Florence and received an injection. Because of the injection, it said he had to sit out eight days without racing and miss last year’s Tour of Lombardy.
“I heard he’s having an operation! That’s what happens. It’s a little something then the next thing he’s in a wheelchair next week and he’s going to the Paralympic Games,” Brailsford explained.
When asked if Froome had to receive an injection for his back, he said, “Off the top of my head, I can’t remember to be honest.”
Brailsford confirmed that Froome would race the Volta a Cataluyna, March 24 to 30, the Tour of Romandy, April 29 to May 5, and the Critérium du Dauphiné, June 8 to 15. As for the rumours of Froome’s troubles, he admitted that they come along with being the world’s top team.
“We are used to it,” Brailsford said. “We have pressure and scrutiny from the media and public. It’s not anything new and it comes with the job.”