Chris Froome (Sky) finished the Tour of the Alps in fourth place overall on Friday, one second off the podium. He said after the race that the result marked an important checkpoint in his build-up for the Giro d’Italia.
“I think I’m a lot closer to being ready for the Giro than I was at Tirreno-Adriatico and we’ve still got two weeks now,” Froome said via a team press release. “It’s been a perfect build up to the Giro d’Italia.”
After completing a Tour de France-Vuelta a España double in 2017, Froome is targeting a Giro-Tour double this season, albeit under the cloud of a possible sanction. The 32-year-old Briton returned an adverse analytical finding for Salbutamol during last year’s Vuelta. The UCI’s anti-doping tribunal has yet to rule on his case.
Froome has opted for a lighter racing schedule this spring in the run-up to the Italian grand tour, riding only the Ruta del Sol and Tirrreno-Adriatico before taking on the Tour of the Alps.
Groupama-FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot took the convincing overall win in the five-day eventd, formerly known as the Giro del Trentino. Froome finished in the top 10 on every day of the race, at times putting in attacks on the climbs.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun these past few days, it’s short, explosive stages and it’s not something you can replicate in training,” Froome said. “It’s really good to have been here and be a part of it.”
Although defending Giro champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) was not present at the Tour of the Alps, a number of other potential pink jersey contenders — including Pinot — did make the start in the UCI 2.HC event. The general classification included several names likely to be in the mix for the Giro next month.
Froome cautioned against drawing too many conclusions about his rivals from the weeklong showdown ahead of the season’s first grand tour.
“I don’t think we can read too much into Tour of the Alps, as some guys won’t have been at 100 per cent at this race but probably will be a lot better at the Giro,” Froome said.
“For sure, Thibaut is in great shape. [Domenico] Pozzovivo is in great shape and [Fabio] Aru is not far off. Lopez is looking great and it’s a little bit of a taster for what’s to come.”
With the Tour of the Alps in the books, the Giro d’Italia is now just two weeks away. The race kicks off on May 4 in Jerusalem, spending three days in Israel before heading to Italy.