Chris Froome has said he hopes to return to racing before the end of 2019, having suffered a life-threatening injury in June at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
As well as setting an ambitious return date, the Ineos rider says he hopes to ride both the road race and the time trial at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the cycling events taking place just six days after the conclusion of that year’s Tour de France.
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“It would be great to be able to do some of those post-season events that I typically do in the off-season,” Froome told The Telegraph. “Just to get back into the pro scene again. It would great if I could do something before January.”
It sounds like the four-time Tour de France champion is targeting appearances at the potentially lucrative criteriums, with these ‘races’ less intense than a truly competitive WorldTour event.
Froome has been explicit in that all he cares about racing-wise is returning for the 2020 Tour de France, as he looks to win a record-equalling fifth title. However, the Kenyan-born Brit has now broadened his mindset to include other goals, as he looks to the Tokyo Olympics.
Froome says he hopes to target Gold in both the road race and the time trial, with many riders weighing up the possibility of just one of the two events, as the Olympic cycling action kicks off just six days after the Tour de France finishes on the Champs-Élysées, 6,000 miles away from Tokyo.
“I’m grateful to be on the road to recovery, I’m grateful that I’m able to recover … now I’m going to give it everything. Both the TT and the road race in Tokyo look very appetising,” Froome said.
“I think the road race has over 5000m of climbing. Temperatures should be close to 40c. Humidity through the roof…it should be an extremely gruelling race. And coming a week after doing the Tour – assuming I’m doing the Tour – it’s almost perfect. I’d like to throw my hat in the ring for both.”