Chris Froome says that "unexplainable pain” and problems with his right quad have hindered his comeback from his nasty crash in 2019.
The seven-time Grand Tour winner is spending the winter continuing his rehabilitation at the Red Bull High Performance Center in Santa Monica and has detailed the discomfort he has been in from a surgical screw, a severe weakness in his right leg and his recovery process ahead of the 2021 cycling season.
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“The biggest learnings towards the end of last year were actually from doing some isokinetic testing and figuring out that I was still sitting with about a 20% deficit in quad strength on the right-hand side,” Froome said.
Basically, it meant the rehab process wasn’t 100% completed. We are doing two-hour sessions, three or four times a week, and focusing on really building muscle mass and strength on the leg that was injured.
“It wasn’t coming from the insertion of the muscle. It was this unexplainable pain.
“I went to have some scans done straight after the Vuelta and we found that one of the screws was actually piercing through the bone and potentially causing a bit of a grating sensation on the muscle as I was cycling.”
Froome: I am not done yet – I want a fifth Tour title
Froome says he is working hard to return to full strength despite the setbacks ahead of the new campaign with his new team Israel Start-Up Nation.
“In a way I see this as the biggest challenge I’ve come up against in my career,” he said.
“Not only am I coming back from the injury but also I spent two years away from the Tour de France. And I’m up against a lot of new faces who I haven’t got experience racing against – guys like Tadej Pogacar.
But age is a state of mind. I feel relatively young in cycling years. I got into the sport a little bit later. The way nutrition has evolved and the sport has evolved, it’s certainly possible for athletes to go later and later. You look at a rider like Alejandro Valverde who is 40 and still racing Grand Tours and is still up there competing with the best in the world. It’s certainly possible and I’d like to prove that as well.
Cycling in 2020: Geoghegan Hart seals Giro as Pogacar steals Tour