Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome has said his dream of winning a fifth yellow jersey is still alive, following his 2019 horror crash.
“The dream is always there,” the 37-year-old told Cyclingnews at the Singapore Criterium. “But I know there are other steps I need to take before that’s even a real concern for me.
“Before focusing on a goal like riding GC at the Tour de France, I have to at least chase some smaller goals, like week-long stage races.
“More than that, though, it’s about having an uninterrupted period of training and racing where I don’t have any illness or injury. If I can manage that, I very much hope I can get back there.”
In 2019, Froome was taken into intensive care after crashing into a wall in a course recon at the Critérium du Dauphiné. He suffered fractures to his sternum, neck, femur, elbow and ribs, and also lost four pints of blood.
The then Ineos Grenadiers rider returned to WorldTour racing eight months later, but has since struggled to regain his form.
“Since my crash, it’s almost as if I went back to being a neo-pro,” the Israel-Premier Tech rider said. "It certainly hasn’t been easy the last three years, and I’ve overcome a lot of challenges. But I’m not missing any motivation, or any will to do it.
“This season was the first season where I haven’t had any issues relating to that crash of 2019.”
This July, Froome showed he hadn’t lost his climbing prowess, finishing third atop Alpe d’Huez on the queen stage at the Tour de France.
“Building up to the Tour and through the Tour, I started to feel more like myself again, as if I was on the right trajectory,” he said. “Alpe d’Huez was a good stepping stone. It was nice to be in the race and at least fighting for the stage win.”
The 37-year-old revealed his original plan had been to reach his peak at the Vuelta a España, but after withdrawing from the Tour in the third week with Covid-19, his ambitions fell away.
“Being asthmatic, it affected me quite badly. It was the first time I’d had it,” he said. “The rest of the season for me was pretty much a write-off.”
Should Froome come back to claim another Tour de France victory, he’d join an exclusive club of five-time winners that includes Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Induráin.
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