Chris Froome is on the right track to regain his best form following his move from Ineos Grenadiers to Israel Start-Up Nation, according to his new team's directeur sportif.
Froome was far from his best in the 2020 season as he felt his way back from a horrific crash in the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine, finishing 98th in the Vuelta, his final race with Ineos. His comeback was also marred by the Covid-19 pandemic tearing up much of the season.
However, since completing his move to his new team he has been working on his fitness in California, away from his new team-mates in Spain and Rik Verbrugghe says the signs are positive for the four-time Tour de France winner.
"The centre in Santa Monica is so good that we chose to keep him there for another month instead of coming to training camp in Girona," Verbrugghe told Het Nieuwsblad.
"Chris is on the right track to become the 'old' Chris again.
"On Tuesday I had a Zoom meeting with Froome, our head of coaching Paulo Saldinha, and general manager Kjell Carlstrom.
"He's getting stronger again. Saldinha flew from Canada to see Chris at work in also testified. His rehabilitation is going well and he's able to regain as much strength in his right leg as his left.
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"The Froome of the Vuelta is not the Froome of today. Due to the lockdown in Monaco last year in March and the distance to his team, his rehabilitation was not perfect. In the meantime, he has become so much stronger."
Froome was set to make his Israel Start-Up Nation debut at the Vuelta a San Juan but it now has emerged that international teams are not likely to complete due to the Covid-19 situation.