Chris Froome: I could have played a role at the Tour de France, but the team decided it wasn’t best for them

The four-time winner is racing Tirreno-Adriatico after he was left out by the team, but should Ineos have taken their star rider? 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chris Froome has said he felt he could have played a role at the Tour de France, but the team decided against taking him.

The four-time Tour winner was left out of the Ineos Grenadiers squad as he continues his recovery from an awful injury suffered in 2019. 

Froome has since revealed that he did want to ride the Tour to support reigning champion Egan Bernal’s title defence, but that the team decided not to take the 35-year-old to France. 

Speaking with Eurosport during stage 15 of the 2020 Tour, just before Egan Bernal fell out of contention, Froome said: “I think I could have played a role but the team decided that was not going to be the best thing for them and for myself personally.”

 He added: “I can only really speak for myself, but I would have been happy to have gone to the Tour and helped, but I think it made a lot more sense for me not to be under that amount of pressure right with where I’m at trying to get back to my old level. 

“Between myself and [Geraint Thomas] we’ve got a lot of experience, having raced the Tour for years now.

“We’ve won it five times between the two of us, so I would think we could have contributed in that sense, helping the team.”

Ineos had been in a promising position during the first two weeks of the Tour, with Egan Bernal sitting second behind Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) into the second week . 

But cracks began to show on stage 13 to Puy Mary where Bernal slipped back to fourth, before Bernal’s hopes of winning a second yellow jersey were shattered on Grand Colombier on stage 15.

The 23-year-old finished the stage more than seven minutes down on the leaders and fell out of GC contention, as Roglic and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) continued to tighten their grip on the top two spots. 

>>> ‘I felt empty, I had no power’: Egan Bernal shares his thoughts after dropping out of GC race at Tour de France 2020 

On his return to the Tour, Froome said: “I’m going to keep cracking on with my training and racing away from the Tour and keep building towards next year. 

“I’ve obviously got a massive will to be back there next year with a new team and a new challenge in that sense. I’m hoping I’ll be back to my best next year.”   

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