Chris Froome is not yet thinking about his place among cycling’s greats like Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx, saying there is “still a lot to achieve” in the next five years.
The 33-year-old Brit plans to race for another four or five years and aims to win a fifth Tour de France title, but has yet to decide his 2019 programme.
“People ask me where I put myself alongside these big names in cycling but of for me it feels strange,” Froome told Sporza.
“I’m not finished, when I get to end of my career, I could be able to say, but at the moment I still have a lot to achieve and race for. At the moment, I don’t think about it, there’s still a lot I want to do.”
Froome won the Tour de France four times and over the last 12 months, added Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia titles to his palmarès. In the 2018 Tour, he placed third overall behind Sky team-mate and winner Geraint Thomas.
He started racing in the major races in 2008 with Barloworld and joined Sky in 2010, becoming a Grand Tour contender the following year. He aims to continue through 2023, when he would be 38.
“I’d still like to ride for another four or five years if my legs will let me,” Froome said. “I came in to the sport late compared to others, I feel like I’m still young, improving and hopefully I still have five years.”
Froome this summer tried to become the eighth person to win the Giro and Tour in the same year, also one of the few to win the Vuelta/Giro/Tour in a span of 12 months. However, he did not have the same strength that he had in previous Tours and Thomas had a perfect Tour ride.
He next races the Tour of Britain, deciding not to return to the Vuelta a España in 2018. The 2019 season remains undecided even if Thomas has talked already about racing the Giro.
“I might go and try to defend the [Giro’s pink] jersey, the title from this year and we’ll have another good race! No, I’m joking! But seriously, I haven’t thought much about what next year will hold,” Froome added.
“I really think it’s too early to say, we need to see the parcours, the timings, how everything is going to work and see what Geraint wants to aim for, and what I can go for, and see how we can match it up and make it work.”
Joining a select group of four – Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain – who have won the Tour five times remains at the top of his list.
“I’m grateful for everything so far that I’ve done in the sport, but If I can carry on and try to get a fifth Tour de France victory, it’d be special to be in that elite group of guys who won five Tours. That would be my biggest goal.”