Chris Froome adds extra race to his pre-Tour de France programme

The four-time Tour champion will take part in the Tour of the Alps in Austria and Italy this month

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chris Froome will race his last event as a Team Sky rider at the Tour of the Alps later on this month, from April 22 to 26.

After the Italian stage race, Froome and will begin to compete in the Team Ineos jersey at the Tour de Yorkshire. The 33-year-old's main aim this season is to take a record-equalling fifth Tour de France overall victory.

>>> Chris Froome says he struggled to trust Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012 Tour de France

Froome raced the Tour of the Alps in 2018, placing fourth behind winner Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), before conquering the Giro d'Italia in May.

This summer, he is using it to add more race days to his programme after having to skip the UAE Tour. He cancelled the UAE Tour from his programme to allow himself to "recover fully" after going too deep in the Tour Colombia, both in the race and in training beforehand.

It has been a rocky start for Froome this season. So far, he has finished 91st in the Tour Colombia and 94th in the Volta a Cataluyna with crashes ruining both races for him.

The Tour of the Alps, formerly the Giro del Trentino, runs from Kufstein, in Austria, over the Italian border to Bolzano. The five stages cover distances from 100 to 180 kilometres, with nearly every day including a serious climb.

Ineos will take over as a sponsor on May 1, replacing Sky Media after 10 years. Froome raced in the team's colours colours for the entire run of Sky. After the Tour of the Alps, he will hang up the jersey and don the new one for the Tour de Yorkshire, starting May 2.

Typically, Team Sky take their Giro d'Italia leader to the Tour of Alps. They did so with Bradley Wiggins, Froome, Richie Porte, and Geraint Thomas in the past, with Porte winning in 2015 and Thomas in 2017.

This year, Colombian Egan Bernal will lead the team along with Gianni Moscon in the Giro but will not take part in the Tour of the Alps. The 22-year-old has already had a full race programme that included fourth overall in the Tour Colombia, winning Paris-Nice and placing third in Cataluyna.

The 2019 race, ranked 2.HC, includes five top WorldTour teams in the line up.

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Gregor Brown
Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.