Chris Froome’s recovery from his horror crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné is “ahead of schedule”, says his Ineos boss Dave Brailsford.
The 34-year-old posted a video of him pedalling on an indoor training with his good leg, and Brailsford has added to the positive news surrounding the four-time Tour winners recovery.
“He’s managed to turn a pedal now with his other leg. He’s well ahead of where he was hoping to be,” Brailsford told the BBC.
“In typical Chris Froome fashion, he’s putting everything into his recovery. Hopefully we’ll see him back at the Tour de France next year.”
Egan Bernal’s imminent Tour de France 2019 victory will mean the British squad will contain three Tour winners on their roster, with Geraint Thomas’ win in 2018.
The Welshman will once again step up to the podium this year, albeit on the second spot after finishing 1-11 down on his team-mate.
“There’s a part of me that would want to be on the top step, but at same time, Egan is an amazing guy, he’s 22, who knows how many he’ll win,” Thomas said.
“The way the team has been it’s just been incredible. And it couldn’t be a nicer guy to win. Egan is truly a genuinely nice, friendly, happy guy pleasure to ride with. And Christ, he’s only 22.”
Bernal becomes the youngest post-war winner and the first Colombian to do so. Thomas says he is satisfied to help Bernal to that title even if he could not win.
“Well the thing is, before last year, I think nobody even thought I could podium in the Tour and now, it’s disappointing I didn’t win my second. You have to put it into perspective,” Thomas added.
Froome added his congratulations, posting a video of the young Colombian breaking down in tears in the post-race press conference after taking yellow on stage 19, with the words: “What a moment for Egan Bernal, his family and for Colombia. It was never a case of if he would wear the yellow jersey but when! So proud of him and of course the amazing work of Team Ineos.”
While in hospital, Froome added another Grand Tour victory to his palmàres, after Juan José Cobo had his win disqualified after the UCI banned him for an anti-doping violation.
Brailsford said the win didn’t feel like Great Britain’s first Grand Tour victory, saying “there’s no need to over-analyse it, it is a bit off a strange one. We never celebrate it, it didn’t feel like a victory at the time, but we were pretty pleased with two guys on the podium, and it felt like a breakthrough moment.”
This 2011 Vuelta win means Froome’s Grand Tour tally rises to seven, and he’ll be hoping to return to the Tour next year to win a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title.