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Tour de France

Chris Froome on Tour de France role: ‘You can expect to see me fetching some bottles’

Chris Froome lumped praise on his Israel Start-Up Nation lineup for the Tour de France: "It's really a cool group of guys."

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Chris Froome is prepared to serve drinks during the 2021 Tour de France.

On Tuesday Froome released his latest video update about his racing comeback, and the four-time Tour de France champion acknowledged that he will ride as a support rider, and Israel Start-Up Nation’s road captain, during the upcoming Tour. While he hopes to target a stage win, should the opportunity arise, Froome’s big goal is to look after team leader Michael Woods.

“The dream scenario to try to go for a result on a stage, something like that — that is very much secondary at the moment,” Froome said. “First goal will be looking after Woodsy and keeping him out of trouble. You can expect to see me fetching some bottles over the next few weeks.”

Froome, 36, has released regular video updates throughout his 2021 comeback to racing, and in the updates, he has remained upbeat and positive about his recovery, even if his results on WorldTour races have been far worse than his historical average. The latest update is the first since Israel Start-Up Nation management revealed that the team would back Woods and not Froome for a GC run at the upcoming Tour.

Froome lumped praise on his teammates ahead of the race.

The team recently announced that Froome would not target GC at the Tour, instead, slotting into the road captain role to help Canadian rider Michael Woods chase stages and the overall. Israel Start-Up Nation is also bringing 38-year-old German sprinter Andre Greipel, and Dan Martin, who recently won a stage of the Giro d’Italia.

“This week we just announced our Tour de France team for Israel Start-Up Nation, and I think we have a really cool group of guys,” Froome said. “Well-balanced. The big focus will be looking after Michael Woods. He’s in fantastic shape, and he’s going to be our GC leader. We’ve got a bit of a sprint train and leadout with Andre Greipel as well. And we’ve got Dan Martin who can also be right up there in the climbs, maybe fighting for a stage win. Otherwise, we have the whole team backing up Woodsy.”

Froome said he just completed a final training camp in the French Alps with his teammates, and the team previewed some of the upcoming Tour de France stages.

Froome also discussed his recent attempts to drop weight in the leadup to the Tour, which he described as “particularly hard.”

“I’ve been trying to get the body fat percentage down, and that’s something I’ve been continuing to work at. It’s been a tough one this year — I’m sure a lot of you can relate to how difficult it can be sometimes,” Froome said. “For me, this year, I’ve found it particularly hard. It has started moving in the right direction.”

Froome stressed the importance of losing weight slowly, and that athletes should prioritize health ahead of weight loss when trying to cut calories.

“For me, I am pushing cutting the calories down, and moving the needle in the right direction, but as an athlete, you have to remember that health comes first,” Froome said. “You have to be healthy in order to perform and for day-to-day living.”

You can watch the rest of Froome’s video update below: