Team Ineos technical director doubts whether Chris Froome can win the Tour de France 2020

Froome is looking for a fifth yellow jersey – but how do the team see his chances?

(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

The technical director at Team Ineos shared his doubts about Chris Froome’s chances of winning the Tour de France.

Froome is targeting a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey this year with the British WorldTour squad, as he returns from a horrific leg break suffered in 2019.

While Froome has previously said he’s back to his best, the head of technical operations and commercial Carsten Jeppesen has his doubts.

Jeppesen told Danish broadcaster TV 2 Sport (opens in new tab): “There is no doubt that he has put a lot of work into it - and as always Chris has been a fantastic athlete and incredibly dedicated. I do not believe anyone has trained as hard during this coronavirus crisis as he has.

“But I'm not 100 per cent sure that he will be so ready that he is where he needs to be to be able to win.”

Froome has been on the long road to recovery after an awful crash suffered at the Critérium du Dauphiné last summer, which took him out of racing for the rest of the season.

After multiple operations and a long rehabilitation process, Froome re-joined the peloton at the UAE Tour in February, just as racing was suspended due to coronavirus.

The postponement of the Tour de France has given the 35-year-old more time to recover, as he believes he is fit for another shot at the yellow.

But Froome’s position in Team Ineos is not as strong as it once was, as Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas have both emerged as Tour victors in the last two years, while Froome is also leaving Team Ineos after more than a decade.

His departure for Israel Start-Up Nation at the end of the season has raised questions about whether Ineos will take Froome to the 2020 Tour at all.

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On the leadership question, Jeppesen said: “A lot has happened since Froome won last. We have won the Tour with both Geraint and Egan, and Froome has grown older and was in a very serious crash last year.

“We have known Chris and worked with him for many years and if there’s one thing you can say about him, it’s that he’s a professional.

“I really think they all have so much respect for each other that it’s not a problem.”

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.