Tour de France winner Chris Froome sets sights on World Championships win
Chris Froome wants to round off his season in style by winning the World Championship.
Last Updated: 23/07/13 3:48pm
Froome wrapped up Team Sky's second consecutive Tour de France victory at a spectacular floodlit finale in Paris on Sunday evening, but his thoughts soon turned to fresh challenges, and adding the rainbow jersey to his newly acquired maillot jaune is now top of that list.
This year's World Championship road race take place in Florence on Sunday, September 29, and the 279.6km route features a series of tough climbs that will suit the world's best ascenders. Froome falls into that category and is excited by the prospect of making yet more history in year that will live long in his memory.
He said: "The World Championship is an event that doesn't often favour climbers like the way it does this year, so it would be a great opportunity to go for that.
"I would like to make the Worlds the focus for the second part of my season and use that as motivation to keep my form up in the races that come before it. I want to try and see the season through, not just switch off completely.
"Winning the yellow and rainbow jerseys would be an incredible double. I have focused on the Tour up until now but being the world champion, that is probably the second biggest prize in cycling."
While most of the riders that completed the Tour's 100th edition will now be taking time off for rest and recuperation, Froome's unwavering work ethic means he will ride a series of criteriums across Holland and Belgium before focusing again on the latter part of the season.
"I will relax and let my hair down a bit during these next few weeks of criteriums, and have a bit of a mental break," he added. "But after that I would like to get back on it and start focusing on the worlds."
Such was the dominance that Froome displayed during his maiden Tour de France win, that many fans are now speculating that the 28-year-old could dominate the race for many years to come. That is a long-term ambition that Froome is desperate to fulfill, even if future routes might not always suit him as well as the centenary edition.
"It is hard to talk so far in advance," he admitted. "But if I look at my career and what my ambitions are as a professional cyclist, targeting the Tour has got to be the biggest goal, and to be able to do that year after year has got to be what my main focus is on.
"Every year things are going to change with the parcours, but I would like to think I'm a well-balanced rider. I can time trial reasonably, I can climb pretty well, and I can't really see what else they're going to put in the Tour that I would struggle with, so I would like to think I could come back every year and focus on the Tour.
"The success I have achieved at this year's Tour has set an amazing platform for me and it's been a massive learning experience. It would be a shame not to carry that experience forward and use it in future editions."
Froome is only too aware, however, that there are a number of riders rising through the ranks who will provide a stern challenge in the immediate years to come. Nairo Quintana is one such example, having taking both the white (young rider classification) and polka-dot (mountains classification) jerseys in a stunning Tour debut, as well as finishing second overall behind a suitably-impressed Froome.
"Guys like Quintana are going to be around for a long time and he is one of the guys who I am going to have to battle it out with for the next few years," Froome accepted. "All the time there are younger guys coming up through the ranks, guys who are going to keep me on my toes.
"Aside from Quintana, there are other guys like Michal Kwiatkowski and Andrew Talansky who stand out. They might not have turned too many head in this year's Tour but they are heading in the right direction and I definitely won't have it easy in the future.
"As I have said before though, I would love to come back and keep targeting the Tour every year. I am 28 now. Most cyclists come into their prime around their early 30s. I would love to come back and keep contending for the Tour as long as I can and as long as I have the motivation."