Chris Froome: I don’t see anyone taking Tour yellow jersey away from Pogačar

The last man to dominate at the Tour de France, Chris Froome is glad to be in the mountains.

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Chris Froome, the previous dominant Tour de France rider, has said he doesn’t expect his successor Tadej Pogačar to lose the yellow jersey before Paris.

Pogačar took yellow on the punchy Belgian stage 6 before doubling up on stage victories on stage 7 atop La Super Planche des Belles Filles to extend his overall lead to an admittedly slim 35 seconds over Jumno-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard.

“Not easily,” Froome said before the start of stage 8. “He’s shown incredible class, not only in being up there in the mountains, but time trials as well and the more punchy stages.

“You can’t fault the guy. At 23 years old he’s ridden with incredible maturity, bar injury or crashing or severe technical problems I don’t see anyone taking it away from him.”

That doesn’t mean Froome believes Pogačar’s rivals won’t fight tooth and nail to usurp him over the next two weeks of racing.

“Having said that, the likes of Jonas Vingegaard, they’re not going to give it to him, give him anything for free, so it’s going to be a fight all the way I think, but I don’t see anyone taking it off him.”

As for his own race, Froome is glad to have entered the mountains where the clean air will hopefully rid his lungs of the cobble dust from stage 5. Now, Froome is hoping to turn his attention to potentially competing for a stage victory.

“Yeah good, I’ve been struggling a bit with my chest the past few days, been coughing up dust ever since the cobbles but I feel that’s starting to ease now. It was good to get into the mountains yesterday. I’m not here riding GC with the likes of Pogačar and everyone else but it still felt good to get into the mountains and definitely I can see a huge improvement on where I’ve been in the last few years,” Froome said before looking ahead to the coming weeks.

“Really to take each day as it comes,” is his plan, “look for opportunities in terms of breakaways, I think we’ve got a good team for that as well. For me personally I’ll always be attentive to opportunities and when one arises go for it 100%.”

If Froome does take a stage win, it would be his first since the stage 18 time trial in the 2016 Tour. At which point, Tadej Pogačar wasn’t even 18 years old.

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