“Froome said after this year’s defeat, ‘Thank you, Javier, but could these time trials in the Vuelta be flatter?’,” Vuelta Director Javier Guillén told Spain’s El País newspaper.
“And I said to him then, ‘Next year, for the 2015 edition, the time trial will be planned in a flat region.’ And that began our conversation…”
Sky’s British leader placed second to Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) by 1-10 minutes when the Vuelta a España finished on September 14. He lost time in the mountains, but Guillén explained that he was most frustrated by the 36.7-kilometre time trial to Borja. The time trial included a category three climb to 1000 metres and saw Froome concede 53 seconds to Contador.
The Vuelta also began with a 12.6-kilometre team time trial and a short 9.7-kilometre individual one on the final day.
The conversation between Froome and Guillén kept going via telephone messages and include the subject of the 2015 Tour de France. In October, Tour organiser ASO presented a route that includes only a 14-kilometre time trial on day one and a team time trial on day nine. The Giro d’Italia, on the other hand, has a 59.2-kilometre time trial – the longest in six years – planned in the third week.
“I reminded him then,” added Guillén, “that our time trial would follow the usual pattern of the last editions of the Vuelta, about 40 kilometres and on level ground or false flats.”
The 2015 Tour route presentation prompted Froome to say that he might race the Giro instead of returning to try to repeat his 2013 Tour win. He has yet to confirm his plans, saying he would do so by December, but France’s L’Equipe newspaper reported last week that he will race the Tour and Vuelta in 2015 due to the colder temperatures and pollen that often plague Italy in May.
“Having Froome would be great, but that does not mean that we will make a Vuelta to suit him,” added Guillén.
“The Vuelta [which starts in Marbella on August 22] will be like the past three years, explosive finals and summit finishes, and I aim to keep it all a secret until the presentation [on January 10]. And anyway, Froome has yet to say that he will come.”
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