Froome favourite for fifth Tour win

Cycling Weekly - - Tour De France 2018 -

In win­ning four Tour de France ti­tles and fin­ish­ing run­ner-up in an­other, Chris Froome has not only seen a good va­ri­ety of route op­tions but con­sis­tently shown that he is ca­pa­ble of adapt­ing to and gain­ing an edge on all of them. While the 2018 edi­tion only fea­tures a pal­try number of very hilly in­di­vid­ual time trial kilo­me­tres, where the Sky leader is likely to have a sig­nif­i­cant edge on the spe­cial­ist climbers, Froome’s huge abil­ity in the moun­tains en­sures he has plenty of ter­rain in which to evade his ri­vals and se­cure a record-equalling fifth Tour crown.

Froome, picked out the first half of the race as the most com­pli­cated. “Any­thing can hap­pen on stages that you don’t know, like those to Quim­per and Mûr de Bre­tagne,” he said, adding that he ex­pected those open­ing stages to be “nervy and dan­ger­ous”.

Yet, with a typ­i­cally strong Sky team be­hind him, Froome will be con­fi­dent of reach­ing the Alps on close terms with his main ri­vals. Those three Alpine stages should then of­fer him a launch pad to­wards the yel­low jer­sey and the chance to em­ploy his well-honed tac­tic of gain­ing a lead and then de­fend­ing it.

The UCI’S de­ci­sion to cut Grand Tour teams from nine riders to eight next sea­son could im­pact on Sky’s abil­ity to con­trol the race in the tight way it has done since 2012. Yet DS Nicolas Por­tal doesn’t think it will have the im­pact the rul­ing body and ASO hope it will, point­ing out that on four of the five oc­ca­sions Sky have claimed the ti­tle, they have not fin­ished with a full ros­ter in Paris.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.