Britain’s Chris Froome says his move to Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN) has given him renewed stimulation and says his goals remain the same: to win more Grand Tours in the 2021 season.
The four-time Tour de France champion’s ended 11 years at Team Sky/Team Ineos for a fresh challenge at ISN, where he’ll be looking to continue his comeback from a serious crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2019, which left him with multiple fractures, including his ribs, elbow and femur.
Froome felt he needed to make the move, revealing things had gone stale at Ineos.
“Year after year with the same team, it’s almost been copy and pasting”, he said.
Changing teams at this point in my career is going to give me so much more mental stimulation and motivation - it’s a whole new change, it’s a new project, it’s a new chapter, it does feel quite rejuvenating to me.
Froome will be hoping to go for a record-equalling fifth Tour de France, joining greats Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacque Anquetil and Miguel Indurain. At 35, Froome is showing no sign of slowing down, and believes he’s ironed out issues which hampered his return from injury last year.
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“I’ve been focusing a lot this winter on really addressing some of those imbalances and weaknesses from the injury - I’m feeling really optimistic about the upcoming season”, he said.
My goals haven’t changed, I want to get back to that top level, I want to be fighting for victories at the Tour de France and other Grand Tours.
“I’m really looking forward to getting the 2021 season underway now - hopefully this is going to be the start of a long, exciting, successful partnership going forward.”
Froome ready to 'fight for victories in Tour and beyond'
Froome has a good feeling about his move to ISN and believes it could be the start of a long-term relationship, possibly lasting into his retirement.
“After the discussions with (team owner) Sylvan (Adams), we came to the conclusion that changing at this point of my career, especially after being with one team for 11 years, we agreed that joining ISN is a commitment I’m not going to make for a year or two” Froome said.
“This is a commitment until the end of my career and potentially even beyond that.”
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown potential plans up in the air for most cycling teams, but it’s reported Froome could begin his season at Volta ao Algarve on February 17, having originally targeted this month's Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina.