Chris Froome says he is inspired by veteran NFL quarterback Tom Brady as he targets another five years at the top of cycling.
Britain’s seven-time Grand Tour winner, who’s 35, believes there is nothing holding him back from winning a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title now that he is over the career-threatening injuries he sustained when he crashed into a wall in 2019.
Froome, who’s competing in his first event for new team Israel Start-Up Nation at the UAE Tour, says 43-year-old Brady’s proved that age can be no barrier, after he won his seventh Super Bowl - also with a new franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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“I’d like to, if possible”, he told The Guardian when asked if he can spend another half a decade in the sport.
“We are seeing more and more examples in professional sport with the most recent being Tom Brady, which was a pretty incredible story.”
I love drawing parallels with other sports and seeing athletes going later and later into their careers.
“That’s due to a host of reasons but mainly because of nutrition and physiology. Everything is evolving.
“We’re learning more and more about our bodies and I certainly believe it’s more to do with mindset in your late 30s.”
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Froome says he is still hungry for success and despite it being nearly three years since his last victory at one of the sport’s big races (Giro d’Italia in 2018), he believes it is possible to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain in winning five Tour de France titles.
“It is going to be a huge ask but, with four titles, I’ve come so close to the record of five”, he said.
There’s nothing holding me back any more so I’d love to give it my best shot and win a fifth. A lot of it is mind over matter so I hope the body will follow.
He believes he is now fully over his injuries, at least while he is competing: “I am in no real pain now.”
“I get a little discomfort when I sleep on my right side and some burning from where I had a plate inserted but it doesn’t affect me on the bike.
“All the gym and rehab work is translating to power on the bike. That left/right ratio is equal again.”
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