Tour de France - 'We're all in' – Chris Froome backed to fight for fifth title by ISN co-owner Sylvan Adams
WorldTour team Israel Start-Up Nation's co-owner Sylvan Adams is surprised that Chris Froome is not yet ready to lead the team at the Tour de France, but he is planning for the 36-year-old rider to be their leader at forthcoming Grand Tour events over the coming seasons, having signed a five-year contract.
Christopher Froome of United Kingdom and Team Israel Start-Up Nation at start during the 73rd Critérium du Dauphiné 2021, Stage 3 a 172,2km stage from Langeac to Saint Haon Le Vieuxon / #Mask / Covid safety measures / UCIworldtour / #Dauphiné / @dauphine
Israel Start-Up Nation continues to plan for Chris Froome to lead the team at Grand Tours next year.
Froome is the road captain for the team at the Tour de France but Michael Woods will lead them in the general classification. The decision has been taken as Froome is yet to fully recover from the huge crash and surgeries at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine.
The four-time Tour champion has yet to get back to anything like his best, with team co-owner Sylvan Adams conceding the South African-born veteran is not yet ready to compete at the top.
"We all hoped, Chris included, that he would be further along, but his injuries were very severe," Adams told Cycling News.
"He is on the road back and he’s making improvements. It won’t happen for him in this year's Tour but we'll see later in the year. Maybe he'll be fit enough to be our team leader for the Vuelta and by next year we expect him to be fighting again at the Tour de France."
Froome signed a five-year contract ahead of the 2021 season and despite now being 36, Adams does not believe they will return to the market for another Grand Tour competitor.
"I think it’s premature to talk about return on investment. We're all in, Chris is working and, honestly, I’ve never seen anyone with such a work ethic," Adams explained.
"There's nothing he refuses to do. When his coach throws at him crazy workouts and regimes since he started with us, the guy has an amazing work ethic. I would never underestimate the heart of a champion and he’s a real champion. You don’t win four Tours, or seven Grand Tours, just on talent.
Criterium du Dauphine: Froome stuggles continue after being dropped in stage 4
"When we signed Chris, the idea was that he would come back and be our leader in the Grand Tours and that's what we declared. Sure, it's taking a little longer but he's not just a figurehead. Sure, he provides mentorship and all the other stuff but he needs to return to form.
"We’re hoping and I’m expecting – Chris is too – that he returns to being the old Chris and that he's fighting for wins. He's not a figurehead or a franchise banner for us; he's a winner and a champion.
"For me I'm all in on Plan A. We don't have a Plan B. We believe in Chris, I believe in Chris, and we're putting all of our efforts into him. He's determined to come back and win Tour number five. Chris is a legend of our sport and is the greatest Grand Tour rider of his generation. The kids will look up to him and having that on the team is special. He brings a lot and he'll bring a lot more when he's fighting for victories again in Grand Tours."
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