Chris Froome is curious about his level in the Vuelta a España. The four-time Tour de France winner will start on Tuesday in his last grand tour on behalf of INEOS Grenadiers.
The 35-year-old Froome came into action for the last time at Liège-Bastogne-Liège at the beginning of this month. In the weeks before, he took relatively little action compared to his competitors and he showed no top form (yet).
“I feel like I’ve closed the gap with the competition, but we’ll see for itself. It’s hard to estimate, because I haven’t driven much lately,” Froome said at a press briefing on Monday.
“I’m feeling better and better, so I have a lot of confidence in that. I have to keep in mind that I haven’t done a big lap in two years now, so I have to look at it day by day.”
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‘It will not be a normal Vuelta’
Froome, who receives help at INEOS from Richard Carapaz and Dylan van Baarle, among others, is at the start of the Vuelta for the seventh time. He won the Spanish stage race in 2011 and 2017.
“I will know where I stand pretty soon, because it will be pretty tough days right away”, he looks ahead to the new edition. “And it won’t be a normal Vuelta like in the summer. The temperatures will be much lower.”
The Vuelta peloton will cover 173 kilometers on Tuesday between Irún and Arrate, with the finish on a climb of the first category. Froome will face competition from Jumbo-Visma riders Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin, among others.
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