Chris Froome says he is very happy with the route for next year’s Tour de France.
The race organisers ASO announced the Tour route earlier this week, revealing a course that includes the return of more standard time trial stages and a Queen stage that includes two climbs of Mont Ventoux in the same day.
Froome, who will leave Ineos Grenadiers in the off-season and join Israel Start-Up Nation, says he is looking forward to taking on the route.
“I think this is a Tour de France that is really well balanced with the time trials and the climbs, much more the typical Tour de France format that you’d expect,” Froome said.
“For me, I was certainly quite pleased to see this route.”
Froome fires Roglic warning, 'pleased' to see Tour route
The 2021 Grand Depart will be in Brittany, with four-time winner Froome returning to the host town where his Tour career began over a decade ago.
“Brest was where I first started my, I guess my relationship with the Tour de France back in 2008,” he said.
“I can remember just being blown away, even though we were on the flat, at just how fast the race was. Especially around that area I think we’re going to have to be very careful of crosswinds, it’s that kind of racing. I’m looking forward to being there.”
Expert view from Eurosport’s Felix Lowe
There is certainly something for everyone in a route which ticks many boxes and gives the Pyrenees some bang for its buck after years of neglect. The Alps don't get much of a look in but that is compensated for by that intriguing double ascent of Mont Ventoux which, in the eyes of many, is made even better by virtue of the downhill finale.
Just three summit finishes will mean the riders going for yellow will need more in their armoury than pure uphill pedigree, while it’s the two time trials where the real damage could be done.
This is a route which suits the Jumbo-Visma team to a core – whether it's Wout van Aert enjoying an opening week in yellow, or their two GC riders Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin coming to the fore in the mountains.
Defending champion Tadej Pogacar will have no fears looking at what's on offer, while France's long wait for a winner would feasibly come to an end with a balanced parcours that does not close the door on the likes of Julian Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot or Romain Bardet.
While ASO have branded their 2021 offering as a "ground-breaking route" there's very little seismic shift of note. It's a gamble to sandwich a final time trial with two sprint stages – but the severity of the Pyrenean phase before should do enough to keep entertainment levels high.