De Kleijn wins in Belgium, Tour 2018 unveiled: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

October 18, 2017

De Kleijn wins Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen; Cobbles, dirt tracks, Alpe d’Huez return: 2018 Tour de France route unveiled; Froome says opening week could tear 2018 Tour to pieces, wins Velo d’Or; Contador on Tour 2018 route: ‘It will be very spectacular’; Bardet gives thumbs up to 2018 Tour route; Porte returns to racing this weekend; Aru signs three-year contract with UAE Team Emirates; Woods extends with Slipstream Sports after career-best Grand Tour result; Video: The riders words – Tour de France 2018; Video: Best images of the 2017 Tour de France; Video: Girona Cycling Festival Nocturn official video 2017

Froome says opening week could tear 2018 Tour to pieces, wins Velo d’Or

by VeloClub

Chris Froome has predicted mayhem at the 2018 Tour de France, saying that the race GC could be blown apart before it even reaches the mountains. “It’s tough. I wouldn’t expect any less from the Tour de France organisers – especially the first nine days,” he said, speaking at the route presentation in Paris on Tuesday.

“It’s going to be very nervy and dangerous up in the north west of France before we hit any of the big mountain stages. The wind could be a massive factor up there and with the GC being so close we could see the race torn to pieces.”

He referred specifically to the 154 kilometre ninth stage from Arras to Roubaix. “You could see a lot happening that day. Then there’s a stage with a gravel section in it – there’s going to be a lot to get ready for in that sense.”

He believes having the right backup will be vital. “It’s definitely going to be a big consideration coming into the race – having a team that will keep me safe up north. Having said that we don’t want to compromise the team we’re going to have once we hit the Alps and the Pyrenees,” he said. “I imagine, in terms of selection, it will be guys who are very versatile who will be the obvious choice – especially with the team time trial playing a big part in the race.”

At the presentation, Froome was also named as the 2017 Velo d’Or winner. The prize is awarded each year by the French Velo magazine, and winning the Tour and Vuelta sealed his success. “It’s a great honour to have this trophy and I want to thank everybody who voted for me,” he stated. “It was a fantastic year, I will remember it all my life.”