Froome hails ‘perfect’ Giro preparation

20 Apr 2018

Froome hails ‘perfect’ Giro preparation

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Chris Froome hailed the Tour of Alps as ‘the perfect build up’ for the Giro d’Italia as he finished fourth overall after securing a top 10 finish on stage five.

Froome rallied on a hard-fought battle between the main GC contenders on stage five which saw several late attacks and counter-attacks in the closing kilometres, as Mark Padun (Bahrain Merida) came out on top on the day, with Thibault Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) taking the overall title.  

Racing into the finish in Innsbruck, the same course that will stage the 2018 World Championships, Kenny Elissonde helped bring back a three-man break of Pinot, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) before Padun timed his counter to perfection.

And despite missing out on a podium place by one second overall, Froome was encouraged by his performance and was content with the progression made as the start of the Giro d’Italia looms large. 

He said: “I think I’m a lot closer to being ready for the Giro than I was at Tirreno-Adriatico and we’ve still got two weeks now. It’s been a perfect build up to the Giro d’Italia.

“The team has been fantastic this week and if you look at how they have controlled the race today it’s really impressive. The break had over 10 minutes at one point and in 40km we brought it to under a minute.

“It’s really going to give us an indication of who’s in good shape ahead of the Giro and the team will be selected in the next week or so.”
Chris Froome

Chris Froome

"I’ve been having a lot of fun these past few days, it’s short, explosive stages and it’s not something you can replicate in training. It’s really good to have been here and be a part of it.
This is the first time Froome has taken on the newly-formatted Tour of the Alps and he was effusive in his praise for the race as well as the quality of racing it produced.  

He continued: “I’ve been having a lot of fun these past few days, it’s short, explosive stages and it’s not something you can replicate in training. It’s really good to have been here and be a part of it.

“The Giro is a whole new challenge for me and a new motivation for me too.

"It’s a huge challenge to target the Giro d’Italia after winning the Tour and Vuelta last year and it’s a huge motivation for me to got for my third consecutive Grand Tour win.”
Froome praised the team's efforts on the final stage of Tour of the Alps

Froome praised the team's efforts on the final stage of Tour of the Alps

For Froome it was the first time he was able to measure his preparations against some of his Giro rivals, but doesn't think it is possible to gauge their form from this week's action. 

He said: “I don’t think we can read too much into Tour of the Alps, as some guys won’t have been at 100 per cent at this race but probably will be a lot better at the Giro.

"For sure, Thibault is in great shape. Pozzovivo is in great shape and Aru is not far off. Lopez is looking great and it’s a little bit of a taster for what’s to come.”
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Sport Director Nico Portal was pleased with the team’s display, echoed Froome’s sentiment on the race’s suitability for preparation and singled out Elissonde for particular praise. 

“The team was brilliant, the key to this race was to be committed - never mind if you were only at 80 per cent of your top shape, and everyone give 100 per cent every day. 

“It’s been a really good week, short stages and it’s been super punchy each day. The organisation of the race was perfect and we were really lucky with the weather it was really hot and the countryside was really stunning.

“We were so happy to see KEnny blossom, he rode the perfect race at a good time and it will certainly help hm in his bid for Giro selection. 

“With Froomey on his wheel and he was often one of the last guys to pull, and sometimes when he was pulling here he was dropping some of the major contenders here, chapeau!” 

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