'Chris Froome asked me about Strava, but I don't know if he was using it'

Ian Boswell says he doesn't know if Chris Froome was the user behind the mysterious 'Luke Skywalker' Strava account

Chris Froome attacks on stage four of the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour
(Image credit: Watson)

Chris Froome may have been using Strava with a secret name, but Sky teammate and training partner at the time Ian Boswell says that he does not know what he was doing.

The two trained together in South Africa in March, at the time that a cyclist was uploading to Strava with the account name Luke Skywalker and on the same rides as Boswell. The account was deleted only one month after it was created and shortly after it was made public.

>>> Chris Froome’s possible presence on Strava didn’t last long

"He was asking me about Strava while we were there. I was using it, but I don't if he was actually using it or not," Boswell said on Froome on Wednesday morning at the Giro d'Italia.

"I don't know. Seriously. We were in different apartments. I don't know what he was doing on his computer."

In South Africa, the two trained at altitude at the same time that team Orica-GreenEdge were there with Adam and Simon Yates, and Esteban Chaves.

"I know Chaves is on Strava, as well. I was telling [Froome] the times we did up climbs compared to the GreenEdge guys. It's fun to compare like that especially when you go training where there's only really us and maybe GreenEdge. I feel bad though, because the locals had some KOMs and the pros show up and put the times out of reach.

Watch: Pro bike - Chris Froome

"He kept asking me about it. I was telling him times, that I thought that we went this much faster up the climbs than Chaves or that we were this much slower. And he said, 'I think we can break that tomorrow if we go harder.'"

The American from Oregon is quickly rising up the ranks within Sky. He trains regularly around his base in Nice, France, and said that he has a "strong" Strava segment on part of the Madone climb near Monaco and that he is proud of setting the fastest time up Mount Baldy in the Tour of California last year because he took it off of friend and former Team Sky rider Joe Dombrowski.

"I'll always use it because it doesn't say anything. The files from Strava are just a time up a climb, it doesn't share any secret information.

"People are always trying to analyse Froome's efforts, which is bogus. Even at times, I'll have a Strava file where the signal gets confused and shows me as a minute faster where I went slower.

"He also runs those Q-rings so that power is different. He can run side by side with me, but his power is way different than me even if we are similar weight and aerodynamic-drags."

Boswell has other things to consider. In the Giro, he will be one of Mikel Landa's most important helpers in the mountains with Nicolas Roche and Mikel Nieve. He hopes that a good showing this year puts him in line for the Tour de France.

Ian Boswell on stage sixteen of the 2015 Tour of Spain (Watson)

Ian Boswell on stage sixteen of the 2015 Tour of Spain (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

"But not this year! I hope not! Anything is possible, but I don't think I'm even on the long list for it.

"I think the team is being pretty cautious with my development and making sure I'm managed pretty well. Just the stress of the Tour, maybe not the physical racing, is more than the Vuelta [a España] or the Giro. I think this is probably the logical progression to come here after the Vuelta," Boswell added.

"My goal this year was to get integrated in that Tour group, which I did. In the Tenerife camp, it was pretty much all the guys plus myself. It was good to increase the training and work effort, and focus they have to start to transition to that style."

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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.