Chris Froome says that the Tour de France will remain his number one target, and will not be aiming specifically for the Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a España
Froome’s rivals were unable to come close to upsetting his ride to a third title over the last three weeks. He concluded the final mountain stage on Saturday in Morzine with a sizable 4-05-minute lead over Frenchman Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) in second place.
After Froome dried off from the wet stage on Saturday, he told journalists that the Tour de France is his race.
“Right now, my focus is on the Tour de France given it’s such a special race,” Froome said.
“It would be my dream to keep coming back to the Tour de France. It would be my goal to come here and try, give myself the best shot and fight for victory again.”
Froome debuted in the Tour de France in 2008 when he still raced as a Kenyan. In 2009 and 2010, he participated in the Giro d’Italia, and in 2011 he broke through with a second place overall in the Vuelta a España.
He has not returned to the Giro since. His focus has been on the Tour de France with the Vuelta as an afterthought.
“Right now, I might do the Vuelta this year. As it stands, with my focus on the Tour, it’s difficult to commit to the Giro. It’s difficult to back up two grand tours like that. I’ll give a lot of thought to doing the Vuelta this year.”
Froome lined up for the Vuelta a España last year, but abandoned after a crash in Andorra resulted in a broken foot bone. He returned this year and won the Herald Sun Tour in Australia, a stage in the Tour de Romandie and the overall in the Critérium du Dauphiné.
He admitted that matching cycling great Eddy Merckx would be impossible given the specific training that goes into cycling now. In the 1960s and 1970s, Merckx accumulated wins in all three grand tours and in all the monuments.
“I’m not going to target all the classics the way Eddy did. Obviously, I’m going to the Olympic Games, that would be amazing to get a result there,” continued Froome.
“Times have changed, with it being so much more competitive, it’s harder to stay at the top for the duration of the season when you have guys targeting and training for specific events. It’s an honour to even be talked about in the same circle as those types of guys, I’m going to keep doing my best.”
With his expected win in Paris this afternoon, Froome will become one of four cyclists to have won three editions of the Tour alongside Greg LeMond, Louison Bobet and Philippe Thys. Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain won the race five times each.