The Ineos Grenadiers rider is working his way back to his best after suffering career-threatening injuries last season.
While Froome struggled through the chaotic first week of racing in the Vuelta, he has now become a valuable asset for team leader Richard Carapaz, who sits second overall with four stages remaining.
Froome, a seven-time Grand Tour winner, says the racing is exactly what he’s been missing in his recovery.
In an interview with ITV (opens in new tab) ahead of stage 14, Froome said: “It’s an amazing feeling after two weeks of racing how my legs are coming round. That’s what I’ve been missing.
“You can’t replicate that in training unless you’re really training with a very motivated group of people.
“I’m really enjoying being here and it’s hugely beneficial towards getting back to my normal level for the future.”
Froome suffered multiple injuries, including a broken leg, when he crashed during the recon of the time trial stage at last year’s Critérium du Dauphiné.
The 35-year-old missed the rest of the 2019 season and returned to racing earlier this year, but has not been riding at his Grand-Tour winning level.
This Vuelta will be Froome’s last race with Ineos, as he is leaving the squad for Israel Start-Up Nation after a decade.
On whether he ever doubts himself during his recovery, Froome said: “It’s not in my nature to doubt myself, but certainly it’s been a question mark if it’s going to be possible and obviously I’m not there yet so I’ve still got a long way to go and I’m going to keep doing the hard yards to get there.”
Froome cruised through the stage 13 time trial to start the final week, as he hoped to save his legs to support Carapaz.
He said in Instagram: "Would have enjoyed pushing today's TT but thinking about the rest of the week. Madrida is getting closer...all in for red."
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