Chris Froome: British fans make a difference at the Tour de France, it's time to repay the favour

Chris Froome will race in Britain for the first time in over two years and hopes to repay the the support the home fans have shown him over the years

Chris Froome on stage four of the 2015 Dauphine-LIbere
(Image credit: Watson)

Chris Froome is looking to 'repay the favour' to the British fans who cheered him on at the Tour de France when he lines up for the RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday.

The three-time Tour winner will race on British soil for the first time since the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France as he prepares for the Olympic Games in Rio.

Froome is targeting gold in both the road race and the time trial, and while there may not be thousands of British fans lining the streets in Brazil, the Team Sky leader wants to honour them in London.

"Every year there are more and more British fans who come out to every corner of France to see the Tour. They really make their presence felt and give brilliant backing to me, Team Sky and the other British riders," Froome said.

"It makes such a huge difference and so it will be good to return the favour and come back to ride in the UK and thank them for that support."

Chris Froome: Where it all began

Fans shouldn't expect to see Froome dominating RideLondon like he did the Tour de France, with the race usually coming down to a sprint finish.

But Team Sky are in with a good shout of making the podium, with sprinter Ben Swift having finished in the top three in each of the past two years.

"We’re definitely coming to try to win the race. We’ve got a strong line up that covers a lot of bases," Froome added.

"It’s a race that can go a number of different ways depending on the conditions and how hard the teams choose to ride, so whilst we have really strong options if it does come down to a sprint, we’ll be well prepared for all eventualities.

"It’s a race that does have a proper Classics feel to it, with changing types of road condition and enough in there to make it tricky for the sprinters if it's ridden full on."

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.