Sir Dave Brailsford has said “no-one should underestimate Chris Froome” as the four-time Tour de France winner is still fighting back from a career-threatening injury.
Froome has been on the long recovery road after an awful crash suffered at the Critèrium du Dauphinè last June, but recent reports raised concerns about his progress.
However, Froome responded to the suggestion by saying his recovery is going well, while Brailsford said the team is doing everything they can to get the Grand Tour star ready for the 2020 Tour de France.
Brailsford told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport: “No one should underestimate Froome.
“He and Ineos will really do everything they can to get him to his best by the start in Nice.”
Last weekend, reports emerged in Italian cycling magazine Bicisport with quotes from Team Ineos sports director Dario Cioni, who said Froome had left a training camp early and raised doubts about the 34-year-old’s recovery.
Froome responded to the reports on social media, saying: “Hope that I can set this straight. I was last at a training camp at the beginning of December.
“My recovery is going well and I will be heading to my next training camp on Thursday. Onward.”
Froome’s 2019 season was completely derailed when he crashed at high-speed during a recon of the stage four time trial of the Dauphinè in Roanne.
He suffered multiple fractures in the fall, including a fractured hip, femur and vertebrae and has undergone multiple operations.
After having surgery to remove pins and screws in November, Froome can now look to his racing return and has been training in the hope of being race-ready in time for the 2020 Tour.
Brailsford added: “After the accident, Chris is working incredibly hard.
“He is putting all the courage and determination into training that led him to win seven Grand Tours to be ready in time for the start of the 2020 Tour.”