LONDON — Less than 24 hours after his first Tour de France victory, Chris Froome is already looking to the future and wants to round off his stand-out season with a shot at the World Championships title in September.
Froome wrapped up Team Sky’s second consecutive Tour de France victory at a spectacular floodlit finale in Paris yesterday evening, but his thoughts soon turned to fresh challenges, and adding the rainbow jersey to his newly acquired maillot jaune is now top of that list.
This year’s World Championship road race takes place in Florence on Sunday, September 29, and the 279.6km route features a series of tough climbs that will suit the world’s best ascenders. Froome falls into that category and is excited by the prospect of making yet more history in year that will live long in his memory.
He said: “The World Championship is an event that doesn’t often favour climbers like the way it does this year, so it would be a great opportunity to go for that.
“I would like to make the Worlds the focus for the second part of my season and use that as motivation to keep my form up in the races that come before it. I want to try and see the season through, not just switch off completely.
“Winning the yellow and rainbow jerseys would be an incredible double. I have focused on the Tour up until now but being the world champion, that is probably the second biggest prize in cycling.”
While most of the riders that completed the Tour’s 100th edition will now be taking time off for rest and recuperation, Froome’s unwavering work ethic means he will ride a series of criteriums across Holland and Belgium before focusing again on the latter part of the season.
“I will relax and let my hair down a bit during these next few weeks of criteriums, and have a bit of a mental break,” he added. “But after that I would like to get back on it and start focusing on the worlds.”
Such was the dominance that Froome displayed during his maiden Tour de France win, that many fans are now speculating that the 28-year-old could dominate the race for many years to come. That is a long-term ambition that Froome is desperate to fulfill, even if future routes might not always suit him as well as the centenary edition.
“It is hard to talk so far in advance,” he admitted. “But if I look at my career and what my ambitions are as a professional cyclist, targeting the Tour has got to be the biggest goal, and to be able to do that year after year has got to be what my main focus is on.” (SKY)