Froome on doubters: ‘It just makes me laugh’
Chris Froome provided an update on his form and addressed those who question whether he might be better off calling it a career in a video posted to his YouTube channel on Thursday.
The four-time Tour de France winner, who is now coming up on two years removed from the crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné that left him seriously injured, is still working to return to something close to his previous level of form. So far this year, he has not finished inside the top 20 of any stage of any race he’s started.
In a video entitled “Chris Hits Back!” Froome said that he wasn’t planning to give up any time soon.
“Obviously, over the last couple of races I’ve seen quite a lot of people on social media getting in touch and saying, ‘Listen, mate, hang up your bike. You’re done. You’re finished. You’re never going to get back there.’ And it just makes me laugh,” Froome said.
“First of all, I don’t think those people know just how bad my injuries were and how far I’ve had to come just to get back to a professional level of racing. But those people clearly don’t know me either as a person. I’m not just going to hang it up. I know I can get there.”
Froome talked about his mindset and motivation, saying that he enjoys the hard work that goes into building form and everything else that comes with being a pro.
“It is going to take time and I’ve got a lot of work to do but I’m prepared to do that work. That’s what drives me, that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning,” he said. “I thoroughly love the sacrifice and the whole regime, the work side of being a professional cyclist. And I’m not just going to throw in the towel because I haven’t reached that point yet. And certainly in the meantime, while I’m not up front winning bike races, I still feel like there is so much that I can add to the team on and off the bike.”
Froome recently finished the Tour de Romandie, where he was affected by a chest issues in the latter stages of a very rainy race, and he noted that the week was indeed a tough one. The race was his fourth so far this year after the UAE Tour, the Volta a Catalunya, and the Tour of the Alps. He said that he has been getting a lot out of his racing starts so far despite the lack of results.
“The racing has really helped me,” Froome said. “Even though I haven’t been showing much up front, I really feel as if just the intensity of being in the peloton is really helping me. I’m feeling as if being in the wheels in the bunch is beginning to feel a bit easier now compared to a couple of months ago at Catalunya for example, I just felt completely out of my depth there, whereas here, I’m starting to feel a progression and starting to feel better on the bike.”
With the Tour de Romandie in the books, Froome will now take a short break and then head to an altitude training camp at Tenerife. He also said that he is concentrating on shedding a bit of weight.
“I still feel a bit bulky,” he said. “I know I’m carrying a bit of extra muscle mass from all the off-bike work I’ve been doing, all the gym work and everything, but I’ve definitely got some fat to lose as well, so big focus on nutrition going forward now.”
Looking ahead, Froome plans to keep drawing on the messages from his critics for inspiration. As he put it: “The more of those messages that come my way, the more it’s going to spur me on and motivate me to do even more.”