Chris Froome’s participation in next year’s Tour de France has been thrown into doubt after the route for the 102nd edition of the race was revealed.
“The team and I will give it some careful consideration before we make any commitments to which of the grand tours I will compete in,” he said.
“I see myself as quite a balanced GC rider and the Giro, with it’s inclusion of a long TT of 60km and tough uphill finishes, will make it a well-balanced race which suits me well..
“If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win.
“In the past I’ve only targeted one grand tour each season but it could be a good opportunity for me to focus seriously on two.”
It would a big decision for the Team Sky leader to miss out on road cycling’s showpiece event but with reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali, Colombia’s Nairo Quintana and Spain’s Alberto Contador all serious contenders over the tough course, Froome could choose to go down a different route during the next campaign.
But with the mountains set to take centre stage – there will be five mountain-top finishes and just 14km of individual time trial – including a penultimate stage on the legendary climb l’Alpe d’Huez, Froome certainly wouldn’t start favourite to win the yellow jersey.
Froome, 29, added: “There’s no two ways about it, next year’s Tour is going to be about the mountains.
“There’s very little emphasis on time trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains. It is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race.”
If Froome does decide to miss next year’s race it could open the door to a remarkable comeback for Bradley Wiggins as the leader of Team Sky’s bid to win the maillot jaune.
The 2012 winner is 25/1 with the bookmaker to win a second Tour de France and while he has ruled out competing on the roads of France again, he could be tempted to back track and lead the team once again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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