'My preparations have definitely been delayed': Chris Froome taking it 'pretty steady' with knee injury

Four-time Tour de France winner says there is a 'good buzz' around Israel-Premier Tech as he heads into second year with team

Chris Froome
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chris Froome's 2022 season is likely to be delayed because of a knee injury he picked up in training in December, he revealed on Thursday.

Speaking at Israel-Premier Tech's launch, the four-time Tour de France winner expanded on the knee injury he announced he'd picked up last week.

"In mid-December I picked up a bit of an injury getting back into training," he said. I tore my tfl (tensor fascia latae) tendon on the side of my leg. I had to take a bit of time off...

"My preparations have definitely been delayed. I'll be racing a little bit later as well. [I am] happy to be here, happy to get the work in, I don't feel any pain at the moment, but I still have to take it pretty steady and have a slower progression into the first part of the season."

However, the Briton said that he was "really" happy to make it to Israel-Premier Tech's January training camp.

"It's really good to be at the training camp now, this is a training camp I didn't make it to last year. I'm really happy to be here and to be starting training with the guys."

This will be Froome's second year with the team, who have changed names from Israel Start-Up Nation to Israel-Premier Tech ahead of this season.

Last year he struggled to reach his former heights - he has won all three grand tours - riding the Tour but without much success.

However, he thinks this year will be a good year for the team he joined from Ineos Grenadiers at the end of 2020.

"Last year the team took a noticeable step up," Froome explained.  "Especially with Premier Tech coming on board, there's momentum, there's positive energy, I feel like there's a good buzz in the team, everyone has come to the training camp keen to work hard, with some ambitious goals for this year. 

"I'm really looking forward to being a part of that and being part of this journey and see the team keep stepping up."

He was asked how he saw the state of the current WorldTour landscape, considering he spent his most successful years with a seemingly unbeatable Team Sky - now Ineos Grenadiers - especially at the Tour.

Froome said that there were now a few teams at the top of the sport, something he hoped Israel-Premier Tech could aim towards in the coming years.

"It's fair to say that a decade ago Team Sky were setting the benchmark," he said.

"I think in previous years other teams have caught up and it seems at the moment that there are two or three bigger teams who are on a very similar kind of level, especially when it comes to riding the grand tours and controlling the grand tours in terms of the general classification. It does seem to be a much more even playing field. 

"In terms of Israel-Premier Tech I wouldn't necessarily say we were one of those teams setting the benchmark for general classification in grand tours, but that's something we can hopefully keep building on in these next few years and a goal for us to try and reach that level. I think we have a great platform to really strengthen the team over the next few years, which is what I'd really like to see."

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