Froome weighs in on yellow jersey battle

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) weighed in on the fight for the top step of the podium in Paris, declaring the race 'over' with Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) set to win.

The Tour de France winner has his own and team ambitions for the rest of the French Grand Tour, but gave his opinion on the fight for the yellow jersey when asked if the race for yellow was over.

"If Pogačar can stay on the bike then, yes, it’s over," Froome said ahead of Stage 16. "He’s showed such class and maturity in the position that he’s in. With a time trial coming, he’s got this in the bag unless something catastrophic happens to him."

When asked if it was possible for the teams of Pogačar’s rivals to gang up and split the race up in one of the mountain stages in a bid to try and attack the race leader, Froome quickly dismissed the question.

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"No, no, he can follow. He’s more than capable of following," Froome said. 



Pogačar holds a lead of five minutes and 18 seconds over Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo) going into the final six stages of racing and with the exception of being dropped by Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) during the final ascent of Mont Ventoux during Stage 11. 

Froome talked about his own condition, after being one of the worst affected in the second of the Stage 1 mass crashes.

"I’m doing well and I’m surviving," said Froome. I’ve been soaking up the race and enjoying the atmosphere, and hopefully counting down the days until getting to Paris."

"I certainly feel like I’m coming around after that accident at the beginning of the race. That took a big knock out of me and it took quite a while for me to gather myself but as the days go on I’ve started to feel better."



Starting Stage 16 two hours and 57 minutes behind the race leader, Froome is in the unaccustomed position of riding in gruppettos, not at the front of the race where he made his career at the top of the sport. However, the winner of all three Grand Tours talked off how his condition has been improving over the course of the race.

"Certainly in the bunch, when it comes to the accelerations, I’m feeling that they’re not quite as difficult as they were a couple of weeks ago when I started off in Brest. I’m quite enjoying being here," said Froome. "The biggest focus for us, Israel Start-Up Nation, is to get Mike Woods and Dan Martin in the breakaways and looking for the king of the mountains points, and the hunt for a stage win, but certainly if the chance is there and I can try and sneak into a break to try and help them out, then I’ll definitely do that."


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3 min read
Published 13 July 2021 at 11:50pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS