Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome motivated by memories of crashing out of Tour de France
Last Updated: 22/08/14 5:14pm
Chris Froome says he will be motivated by the memories of crashing out of the Tour de France when he bids for honours at the Vuelta a Espana over the next three weeks.
The Team Sky rider will take part in the season’s third and final Grand Tour less than seven weeks after being forced to abandon the Tour with fractures to his left wrist and right hand following a spree of three crashes in 24 hours.
Froome’s form going into Saturday’s opening Vuelta stage is largely unknown, but he is the bookmakers’ second favourite for overall victory behind Nairo Quintana and is adamant that he won’t be lacking in desire to live up to that billing.
“It would be great to get a result here, especially after a disappointing Tour,” Froome told teamsky.com.
“But I do know how hard it is to race, especially at this level with so many big competitors here. It’s going to be a really tough race but I think we have got a great team and I’m really looking forward to the next three weeks.
“My main objective here is to get the Grand Tour in my legs and finish the season in good condition. That will hopefully take me through to the winter in a good way.”
Froome’s preparations for the Vuelta were momentarily disrupted when he crashed during a reconnaissance ride of stage one’s team time trial route on Thursday.
There was just a bit of oil on the road and I’m sure that whoever the first guy was heading into that roundabout would have gone down too. It’s one of those things, but I didn’t get hurt. It was very slow speed. I’m fine and ready to go on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Briton slipped on a patch of oil but was unharmed and is fit to start Saturday’s opener in Jerez de la Frontera.
“The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘Here we go again’,” Froome admitted. “There were flashbacks from the Tour.
“There was just a bit of oil on the road and I’m sure that whoever the first guy was heading into that roundabout would have gone down too. It’s one of those things, but I didn’t get hurt. It was very slow speed. I’m fine and ready to go on Saturday.”
Although this year’s Vuelta contains eight summit finishes and two individual time trials, Froome is quick to emphasise the importance of Saturday’s flat, 12.6km team time trial.
He added: “The team time trial is going to be a tough stage, especially with the start on the pave and the number of roundabouts.
“We are one of the last teams off, so we will be able to see what we are up against and to see how other teams fare before we go off. The stage is a big objective for us and it would be a really great for us to start off with a good result in the TTT.”