With the Tour de France a little more than a week away, Chris Froome says that he is well-prepared for the race, even if the route doesn’t suit him in the same way it has in previous years.

This year’s Tour de France route features just 36.5km of time trialling, the fewest kilometres against the clock in the history of the race, and just three bona fide summit finishes, there are fewer opportunities for Froome to gain time in the same way he has in previous years.

“I don’t think this year’s course necessarily suits me as well as previous Tour de France courses have. I say that because of the lack of mountain top finishes and also the lack of time trial kilometres. Having said that, it means that it’s going to be a lot closer race and a lot more exciting for the fans.

“Every Tour is a different race. I can’t just rely on what I did the year before. I have to always try to look to improve, try and look at upping my game.”

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Froome has not won a race so far in 2017, the first time he will head to the Tour without a win under his belt since 2012, but said that he is confident of his form.

“My preparation has been going well. I’ve had a slow build up, but that was always part of the plan. I’ve got a busy summer ahead, obviously with the Tour de France being the main goal but also with the Vuelta a España afterwards as well, so there’s a lot of racing still to come.

“I have taken a much more relaxed start to the year. I haven’t done as many race days as I have in previous seasons. That will hopefully mean I’m going to be a lot fresher coming into this period, when I’ll be racing a lot.”