The off-season is always a treasured time for a professional cyclist, especially one in the limelight as much as Chris Froome, and the British rider admits he’s taking full advantage of being off the bike.
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But he returned at the season-ending Saitama Criterium and then embarked on his annual month off before returning to the road to focus on winning the 2016 Tour.
“At the moment I’m in terrible condition, this is our month off, generally a month to six weeks where it can just be normal again, you can have a burger, have a beer, but the rest of the year, from November onwards it pretty much is ten months of living a very much full on lifestyle to get ready for the Tour de France again,” he said at the Web Summit in Dublin on Tuesday.
“I think it’s the one month where you can break the rules a little bit and just feel normal. I think it’s only normal to have that reset at the end of every year.”
Watch the highlights of the 2015 Tour de France
Froome’s victory in this year’s Tour came partly off the back of a superb solo attack up the Col du Soudet on stage 10, but it was thanks to his teammates that he retained that lead all the way to Paris.
His team, including cobbles specialists Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard, guided Froome over the pavé on stage three, while the likes of Geraint Thomas, Richie Porte and Wout Poels were on hand to provide support in the mountains.
Indeed, even when it looked like Poels and Porte had been distanced by the attacks of Movistar pair Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde on stage 20 to Alpe d’Huez, the pair recovered to ensure Froome didn’t lose his advantage over Quintana.
And Froome is aware more than anybody of the sacrifices his teammates make for him to win the Tour de France, but insists that having the buy-in from his colleagues means that he’s even more motivated to win the race for them.
“It’s not possible for me to just show up in July in fantastic conduction and take on the Tour de France,” he said.
“I think it is critical for me to win at least one or two, even if they’re smaller events, before the Tour de France just to build that momentum.
“To build the trust among my colleagues, my teammates so that I really do have the buy-in 100 per cent from everyone going in to the Tour de France so that they know that if they give it their all, that I’m going to be just as up for it and I’m going to give it absolutely everything to try and finish off the job for them.”