Tour de France

Froome confirms he’ll race 2015 Tour de France

The race will be Froome's "main focus" for next year

MILAN (VN) — Sky’s Chris Froome will attempt a repeat of his 2013 win at the 2015 Tour de France in July instead of focusing on the other two grand tours.

“The concept of doing all three grand tours in a season has got appeal but having said that, I know how hard it is to do two grand tours while targeting the overall win,” Froome said Tuesday on Sky’s website.

“At this point in my career I feel that the Tour takes priority. There may come a time at some point down the line where other races may take preference, but for 2015, it’s the Tour.”

The 29-year-old Briton had said he was leaning toward racing the Giro d’Italia after organizers announced the two routes in October. The Italian three-week race, May 9-31, will feature a 59.2-kilometer time trial in the second week that tempted Froome.

For its 2015 route (July 4-26), Tour organizer ASO went light on the time trials with only a 14km individual stage on the opening day. Instead, the Tour will spend time on the technical roads in The Netherlands and in Belgium, including cobblestones in the fourth stage to Cambrai.

“I see myself as quite a balanced GC rider and the Giro with its inclusion of a long time trial of 60km and tough uphill finishes will make it a well-balanced race which suits me well,” Froome said in October.

“There’s no two ways about it, next year’s Tour is going to be about the mountains. There’s very little emphasis on time trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains.”

Froome, however, went for the French option to try to repeat his 2013 victory. It should be an all-star edition, with 2014 winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), 2013 runner-up Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and two-time winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) all confirmed to race.

“There is no doubt that this Tour de France is going to be a tough test, but I enjoy the challenge and there’s no reason why I would be any worse off than any of the other contenders. It is our responsibility as a team to adapt accordingly so that we can be as competitive as possible there,” Froome said Tuesday.

“It’s a climber’s Tour next year so I’m going to have to work extra hard in the mountains and spend less time on practicing time trialling. It’s also going to be important to be as light as possible, so our nutrition will play a key role.”

Froome did not specifically outline his 2015 program, but said the Tour will be the “main focus.” His first event of the 2015 season will be the Ruta del Sol stage race in February.

Bradley Wiggins could race the Giro d’Italia, according to the team’s bike sponsor, Fausto Pinarello.

“I would not exclude Wiggins from the Giro. It’s useless to hide it, the Treviso/Valdobbiadene stage is our goal. And on this course, he’s untouchable,” Pinarello told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper Monday.

“In June, Wiggins will attempt the hour record. I know that the team is evaluating the idea of him being at the Giro because it would be a perfect base preparation and the time trial is the best test [for the hour record].”

Sky told VeloNews on Monday that it has yet to decide Wiggins’ race program. Along with its other riders, including Americans Danny Pate and Ian Boswell, the schedules will be confirmed in December or January at team camps in Spain.