Chris Froome is back on his bike after abandoning the Tour de France with fractures and is heading towards the Vuelta a España. Team Sky’s general manager, David Brailsford said on Thursday morning that he could be in Spain, even if not to win.
“We’d like to think [he’d return to racing] at the Vuelta, but we want to make sure that he has enough time to get himself ready,” Brailsford said. “I think that it’s pretty important that he rides the Vuelta, whether he has the condition to be competitive in the Vuelta is a separate thing.”
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Froome abandoned the Tour de France during stage five after crashing three times and fracturing bones in his left wrist and right hand. Returning to Monaco to recover, he had time off his bike while the fractures healed.
Brailsford explained that he started training on the road again in an effort to keep his fitness and to aim for a new goal. The aim could be at the Vuelta a España, August 23 to September 19, if all goes well.
Sky’s Froome and Bradley Wiggins placed second and third, respectively, behind Juan José Cobo in 2011. The Kenya-born Brit returned in 2012 after placing second in the Tour and placed fourth. It is unclear, however, if he will make a charge for the race winner’s red jersey in the three-week race because of his injury.
“If he goes there at 70, 80, 90 or 100% of form, I still think that he should give 100% of what has,” Brailsford said. “You need a grand tour in a season. Even if it’s just setting him up for next season, it’s important that he rides.”
Because the Vuelta starts in just under one month’s time on August 23, Brailsford explained that it is unlikely that Froome will participate before the race kicks off with a team time trial in Jerez De La Frontera.