Chris Froome intrigued by Alberto Contador's intention to ride next May's Giro d'Italia
By Doug Ferguson and Matt Westby
Last Updated: 02/10/14 4:47pm
Chris Froome says Alberto Contador’s decision to ride the Giro d’Italia ahead of next summer’s Tour de France is “interesting” but will not finalise his own build-up until after the route has been unveiled later this month.
Contador has hinted he may ride all three Grand Tours next year and took the first step towards that goal by revealing he will bid for a second Giro title in May.
The Spaniard is then expected to resume his rivalry with Froome at July’s Tour, a bold target given that no rider has won both the Giro and Tour in the same year since Marco Pantani in 1998.
Team Sky rider Froome admitted Contador’s decision had caught his eye but insisted he would wait until the Tour route announcement on October 22 before planning his own race schedule.
Eager to see Tour route
“Alberto doing the Giro is an interesting one,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s a bit early to say which races I’m going to ride before the Tour, having not seen the route. I’m really eager to see what the route is for the 2015 Tour de France.
“At the end of the day, any participation in the big races is going to be up to the team and it’s down to Sir Dave [Brailsford, the Team Sky principal] to decide who races in what events.”
Froome and Contador have enjoyed a hard-fought rivalry this season, nowhere more so than at the Vuelta a Espana, when the Spaniard narrowly defeated the Briton just weeks after both men had crashed out of the Tour.
Alberto Contador is definitely going to be the benchmark going forward.
And despite Nairo Quintana having claimed his first Grand Tour win at the 2014 Giro, Froome believes Contador will once again be the man to beat in 2015.
Contador main rival
“I have learnt a lot about Alberto this year,” he added. “He really was my biggest rival this year in pretty much all the races I went to.
“In the Vuelta, even though he had a big setback the same as I did in the Tour, he came back just as strongly, if not stronger. He is definitely going to be the benchmark going forward.”
Despite singling out Contador, Froome is keen for all of his other closest rivals to be challenging for victory at the 2015 Tour.
“A race like the Tour de France deserves to have the biggest riders go over there for that battle for the yellow jersey,” he added. “As it was in 2013 in the Tour de France, with Contador, with Quintana, [Alejandro] Valverde, [Joaquim] Rodriguez, most of the biggest rivals – that’s what makes it a more prestigious race, being able to go up against those guys.”