Bradley Wiggins has said he is confident that Chris Froome is returning to the rider he was at La Vuelta on the latest episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show.
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 since then he has battled hard to help leader Richard Carapaz on some gruelling climbs.
Wiggins and fellow Eurosport expert Sean Kelly both believe the 35-year-old's performances so far at La Vuelta have been very encouraging and demonstrate that he is on the right path to returning to being the rider he was ahead of next season.
"We've seen Chris Froome be really active, hurting himself and helping the team," Wiggins said on the podcast.
I still think he has one big day left in him where he is going to shine. He is getting back to the rider he was with every pedal rev, and he has shown that.
"Every turn he has at the front he is going longer and longer into the race and he is enjoying putting people in the hurt bag again and regaining his confidence.
Froome - 'This is a process I have to go through to get back to the top level'
"You have to imagine for him, there were probably times when he thought, 'will I ever get back to that strength and that rider?'.
"With every rider that gets dropped with him doing that at the front, he has to start believing, 'look, I can win races again'.
Just the fact that Chris is looking like he can be competitive again next year, which everyone wants to see, and challenge for a fifth Tour.
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The day when the Angliru broke Wiggins, and Froome 'lost' the 2011 Vuelta
Kelly added: "In the early days of this Vuelta he looked like he was struggling a lot, and he was losing contact.
"But we have to remember that he was out for a long time and he is slowly getting better because we can see how he is riding now on difficult stages.
"He is looking like a man with confidence now and he is happy with the way he is riding. That is so important for Froome, because he needs this Vuelta to finish off this season."