MILAN (VN) — Chris Froome is aiming for a never-before reached target, victory in the Tour de France followed by the 2016 Olympic road race and time trial in Rio de Janeiro.
Sky’s captain, winner of the 2013 and 2015 Tour, ended his season with a broken foot in the Vuelta a España. He will return to training soon, with a triple target.
“That’s a massive goal to set, and I think I’m just going to have to take each event as it comes, but it’s exciting. It’s really exciting,” Froome told Sky Sports News. “The main focus for me is going to be the Tour de France again, but just on the back of the Tour de France, we have got the Olympic road race over in Rio, and a few days following that, potentially the Olympic time trial is also on the cards.”
After the Tour victory this July, he explained he would target the Olympics as well in 2016, but on Thursday, he specified it would include both the road race and time trial.
Froome’s former teammate and fellow Brit, Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour and 10 days later, took gold the time trial at the London Olympics. He raced the road race in the interim, but placed 103rd, as his primary objective was to work for sprinter Mark Cavendish.
The 2016 Tour de France, which the organizer will present October 20 in Paris, runs July 2-24. The climber-friendly Olympic road race, 13 days after the Tour on August 6, will be one of the events that kicks off the Rio Games. The time trial, August 10, will be held four days after the road race.
“Both the road race and the time trial do suit me very well. The time trial has over 1,000 meters of climbing in it, so it’s going to be a tough time trial. It’s long, I think it’s over 50 kilometers [59.6km], so for an individual time trial, that is a long event,” said Froome. “Given the road race is over 250 kilometers [256.4km], I think, with close to 5,000 meters of climbing, that’s a tough race – really tough race – and if the form is still good come the end of the Tour de France, hopefully I’ll be up for a shot in the road race.”
Froome, 30, will have a better opportunity in the time trial. Unlike grand tour rivals Alberto Contador of Spain and Italian Vincenzo Nibali, Froome has never won a one-day race.
The closest he came was a stage ranked as an individual race in the 2009 Giro del Capo. Nibali won the Tre Valle Varesine on Wednesday and Coppa Bernocchi in September. Contador won Milano-Torino in 2012.
Froome’s first hurdle will be the Tour’s trophy. With a third victory, he’d equal American Greg LeMond, Frenchman Louison Bobet, and Belgian Philippe Thys.
“It’s going to be key to see what the Tour de France has in store for us next year,” added Froome. “We are going to have the presentation later in October to see exactly what next year’s route is going to look like, and from there we can start planning accordingly.”