Bradley Wiggins has backed Chris Froome to thrive next season on the latest episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show after he battled through La Vuelta in his last race with Ineos.
Froome was dropped as early as Stage 1 as his Ineos team left him struggling at the back after having omitted the British star from their Tour de France team, but he recovered well and finished his final race with the team in emotional fashion.
Wiggins believes the 35-year-old is still capable of winning the Tour de France and that his end-of-season switch to Israel Start-Up Nation could be what he needs to shine in a leadership role once more next season.
"I think he'll be fine, he's got a good family, wife and kids around him," Wiggins said on the latest podcast. "I think he is very professional, he is good at what he does.
He is leaving for a reason, let's not forget. I think he is leaving to continue in a leadership role, the sole leadership role, in order to try and win a fifth Tour de France, which he is capable of doing.
Froome in tears as Ineos career comes to an end - 'It's been 11 years, this is an emotional day'
"Ineos is a very cut-throat system. They've got how many leaders there who could win a Grand Tour now? And with Chris' crash you have to say that was a setback in terms of the pecking order.
"He didn't get selected for the Tour this year, and he has been given the sole leadership role at a team in order to try and win more, which is good for us fans watching.
"It shows the drive that he has still got in order to come back and prove a point."
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Kelly agreed that Froome's performances at La Vuelta were encouraging and that he will head into the off-season with a positive mindset looking ahead to the next campaign.
"He has made big, big improvements at the Vuelta, and that is going to give him big motivation to continue being focused and working," Kelly said on the podcast.
If he had had a really bad Vuelta he could have lost confidence, but I don't think that's the case. He is going to come away from this Vuelta with a very positive mindset.
"He can take a little rest and time out, then start really working and thinking about next year, so he is definitely on the road to becoming very competitive to win again."