Chris Froome fears cobbles on 2014 Tour de France route
Chris Froome admits his fears over rumours that next year's race could include sections of cobblestoned roads.
Last Updated: 18/10/13 10:36am
With the full route of the 2014 Tour - which starts in Yorkshire - due to be announced next Wednesday, speculation has been growing after reports emerged of Tour director Christian Prudhomme scouting cobbled roads in the north of France.
"Cobbles have been mentioned and that does ring alarm bells for me," Froome told Cycling News. "I know they will be ringing for others as well. The little climbers will hate the cobbles."
While cobbles are common in the Classics, many riders fear they can add too great an x-factor to stage races due to the high likelihood of accidents or mechanical issues, particularly in wet weather.
"The thing that worries me about cobbles isn't necessarily the riding over the cobbles bit," the Tour de France winner added. "I've done Paris-Roubaix before, I know what that's like - it's tough. I admit I probably wouldn't be at the very front of a cobbled stage with guys like [Fabian] Cancellara and [Thor] Hushovd.
"I accept I wouldn't be able to follow them, but there's no reason I shouldn't be able to stay with [Alberto] Contador, [Nairo] Quintana, [Joaquim] Rodriguez and [Vincenzo] Nibali on cobbles like that.
"What worries me about cobbles are the crashes, the mechanical problems. A mechanical problem in the wrong moment of the race when things are kicking off could lead to you losing the Tour.
"I'm not a big fan of that. Someone shouldn't lose the Tour due to a mechanical fault. It happens, but we're not in the Eugene Christophe era any more. I think it's extremely unfortunate if that happens. It's the unknown factor that worries me about cobbles, not necessarily being dropped."
This summer's parcours worked in Froome's favour as it was highly mountainous, and the Team Sky rider is hoping to see plenty of uphill stages again next summer, although he said he is confident he can tackle most challenges.
"If there are more mountains in it, that's not a bad thing for me, as I think I've proved myself on the climbs," the 28-year-old said.
"But having more time trials does suit me, including team time trials as I think I've got one of the strongest teams for that discipline."
The Tour route will be announced in Paris on Wednesday.