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Froome injured a tendon in his leg in a return to serious training in December, and rest was the only cure.
“In mid-December, I picked up a bit of an injury getting back into training,” Froome said. “I tore my TFL tendon on the side of my leg, and unfortunately I had to take a bit of time off.”
Froome joined his Israel-Premier Tech teammates at a training camp this week in Spain, but there is not yet a firm date on when or where Froome will race for the first time in 2022.
“I am happy to be here and be training with the guys, but my preparation has definitely been delayed,” Froome said Thursday at a team event. “I will probably start racing a little bit later as well.”
That injury knocked back Froome in a key training window ahead of what will be a decisive year in his career.
Last fall, Froome indicated he wanted to race early and often in 2022 in a bid to return to top form. Froome continues to work hard with an eye on being able to recapture his glory days before his devastating injury in 2019 that nearly ended his career.
The 36-year-old said the team has not yet mapped out a racing calendar for him in 2022.
“I’m not feeling any pain at the moment, but I still have to take it pretty steady, and start with a slower progression into this first part of the season,” he said. “I am happy to be here, and happy to be getting the work in.”
Team manager Kjell Carlström said Thursday that the team is not thinking about a run for the yellow jersey in 2022, confirming instead that the team goals will be on trying to win a stage in this year’s Tour.
“The next goal is [to] compete across the entire season, to get more victories, and get more points,” he said. “We are really aiming for stage victories, and that would be our goal from the beginning of the Tour, and then we’ll continue from there.
“Last year, Michael Woods was close to being able to get the polka dot jersey, so that could be a goal,” he said. “Our goal is being ambitious and trying to go for victories. This is our objective in 2022, so hopefully, we can achieve it.”
Carlström did not mention Froome or his racing calendar during the brief media presentation.