Former Tour de France champion Chris Froome said he is considering skipping the 2015 race because the course, revealed in Paris on Wednesday, may not suit his riding characteristics.
By
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

Commenting on his personal website shortly after the announcement, the 2013 champion said he may focus on the Giro d'Italia instead as it is a more "balanced" route whereas the Tour is aimed predominantly at climbers.

There are six mountain-top finishes at the Tour, but only 14km of individual time trialling in addition to a 28km team time trial across the 21 days and 3500km of racing.

"There's no two ways about it, next year's Tour is going to be about the mountains," said Froome.

"There's very little emphasis on time trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains.

"With six mountain-top finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race.

"The team (Sky) and I will have to give it some careful consideration before we make any commitments to which of the grand tours I will compete in," he said.

"I see myself as quite a balanced GC (general classification) rider and the Giro with it's inclusion of a long TT (time trial) of 60km and tough uphill finishes will make it a well balanced race which suits me well."

The possibility of Froome passing up the chance to win the Tour to focus on the Giro in May then potentially the Vuelta a Espana in September upsets recent talk of the big four Grand Tour competitors battling head-to-head across all three races.

"If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win," said Froome.

"In the past I've only targeted one Grand Tour each season but it could be a good opportunity for me to focus seriously on two."

Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov recently offered to put a $1.4million incentive on the table in an attempt to get Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Froome, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and defending Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) together to tackle all three Grand Tours, with the possibility either entertained or dismissed outright.

Froome's initial reaction to the Tour course only underscores the difficulty in making the idea possible.