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Tour de France

Froome confirms trust in Team Sky with contract extension

Chris Froome says he's on track to continue with Sky until 2021. He expects 2017 Tour de France to be his biggest challenge yet.

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DÜSSELDORF, Germany (VN) — Chris Froome confirmed he has full confidence in his long-term relationship with Team Sky, despite recent scandals. He looks to be on track for a three-year extension with the British team.

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Froome sat with his team Wednesday in a pre-Tour de France press conference in Düsseldorf, Germany, and said that he wants to stay with them for three more years. His current contract runs through 2018. The Brit has raced with Sky since 2010.

“No,” Froome said when asked whether other teams are on the table. “And I certainly didn’t have any talks with team BMC if that’s where you’re going.”

He said that he did not consider switching teams at all. By the time the Tour de France starts Saturday in Düsseldorf, Froome may have already signed the extension. He is starting in a bid to win a fourth title.

“Hopefully, by the time we start on Saturday the Ts will be crossed and the Is dotted, but I think we are in the final processes now of agreeing to the extension.”

Given the controversies over the past year with reports of medical packages being delivered and questionable medical certificates by Bradley Wiggins, it shows a level of trust the 32-year-old Brit has in the team staff and boss David Brailsford.

“Yes, it does,” Froome added.

Brailsford came under fire in the press conference for his involvement in the British Cycling and Sky scandals that are brewing back home. He answered calmly and turned the focus back to the Tour de France.

Froome comes in with form that some have questioned. He has yet to win in 2017 and faces a route that appears more technical than normal with several downhill finishes to mountain stages.

“I think this is the biggest challenge I face in my career. The level of my rivals and the course that we are racing on this year leaves it to be much more open. It’s going to be the biggest challenge for me, for sure,” Froome said.

“To win a fourth Tour de France title would be incredible. I don’t want to jinx it, it’d just be unreal.”

If Froome signs until 2021, he has the potential to win five more titles. It would put him equal with the greats at five and beyond what others have done beforehand.

Lance Armstrong won seven in a row but had those titles stripped for doping.

“I don’t want to put a certain number on it and say that’s what I’m going for. I think I probably at best have five or six years at the top level.

“I’d like to be here at the start of the Tour de France aiming to win the race. Until 2021? Hopefully for at least for the next five or six years, that’s my goal. I came into the sport quite late and I feel as if I’m still quite young in cycling terms and have a bit of catching up to do.”

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.