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Chris Froome confirms intentions to keep chasing yellow jersey at Tour de France

Four-time Tour de France winner also reveals his deal with Israel Start-Up Nation ends in 2022.

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Chris Froome isn’t retiring any time soon, and vows to keep chasing a record-tying fifth yellow jersey at the Tour de France.

That’s according to an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, which caught up with the four-time Tour winner.

“I still dream of that fifth Tour victory,” Froome told the Italian newspaper. “Seeing Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali gives me a lot of motivation to keep training. They are, respectively, five years and one year older than me. But they also won games last month. That gives me courage.”

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Froome’s comments came a day ahead of the official presentation of the 2022 Tour de France route in Paris.

Froome won his first in 2013, and three straight from 2015-17. Injuries from his crash in 2019 stopped him short of winning a fifth yellow jersey.

The 36-year-old said he keeps racing for the love of the game.

“After my fall, I was still in the hospital of Saint-Étienne thinking about whether I should stop,” Froome said. “I lined up what I wanted in my life, whether I wanted to keep racing or do something else. Then I discovered that I really like racing, competing, traveling, cycling in the great outdoors. I like the lifestyle of a professional cyclist. Even if I don’t return to my old level, it is invaluable for me to keep cycling.”

https://twitter.com/chrisfroome/status/1446057668343476224

Froome also confirmed that his contract with Israel Start-Up Nation will be up at the end of 2022.

When the 36-year-old joined the team in 2021, it was widely reported that he had an open deal with the team. That might well be the case, but this interview was the first time he confirmed that his deal with the team was for two seasons.

No regrets about taking on Giro-Tour double

Froome said he has no regrets about trying for the Giro-Tour double in 2018, when he won the Giro in a spectacular, late-race attack, and then finished third in Paris, calling his Giro win the “best moment of my career.”

Every rider who’s won four yellow jerseys went on to win five, yet in 2018, Froome risked the safer bet on racing just the Tour to take on the Giro as well.

“That reckless attack may well have opened the eyes of others. Take Julian Alaphilippe, Remco Evenepoel, or Mathieu van der Poel: they are never afraid to attack from afar or to attack several times,” he said. “We have seen many wonderful races in the last three years. More than we had seen in the previous 10.”

Continuing, Froome said he’s impressed with Tadej Pogačar and how the young Slovenian handles himself in the bunch.

“I’ve never seen him do anything wrong in race,” Froome said. “If he attacks, he wins. And if he doesn’t win, he’s in control. If nothing stops him, he can break any record. And if he wants, he can be the first since Marco Pantani [in 1998] to win the Giro and Tour in the same year.”