Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Froome motivated by history bid at Giro d’Italia




Froome motivated by history bid at Giro d’Italia

Cyclist Chris Froome gives a press conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days before Friday's start of the Giro d'Italia. The race's 'Big Start' will be first time any of cycling's three major races – the Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana – begins outside Europe. AFP
Cyclist Chris Froome gives a press conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days before Friday's start of the Giro d'Italia. The race's 'Big Start' will be first time any of cycling's three major races – the Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana – begins outside Europe. AFP

Froome motivated by history bid at Giro d’Italia

Chris Froome is trying to put his tumultuous Giro d’Italia preparations behind him as he focuses on making history.

Froome has won the last two Grand Tours – the Vuelta a Espana in September and the Tour de France before that in July.

Should he win the Giro this month, he would become only the third man – and first in 35 years – to hold all three Grand Tour titles at the same time.

The other two – Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault – are among the sport’s greats having both won the Tour de France a record five times.

Four-time winner Froome, 32, would like to try to emulate them in July, should he be allowed to race, but for now it is the Giro occupying his thoughts.

“That’s a huge motivation for me, that was part of my decision-making process in deciding to be here, in that I won the Tour last year and the Vuelta,” he said when asked about the cycling Grand Tour grand slam.

“I can’t remember the last time a rider won three Grand Tours consecutively like that – it’s a huge point for me.”

Jerusalem ‘fantastic’

His adverse analytical finding from a doping test during the Vuelta last year hangs heavy on his shoulders though, with much of the talk leading up to the Giro centred on whether or not he should even be participating.

The sport’s world governing body, the UCI’s rules do not preclude him from continuing to race as he fights to clear his name and avoid a doping ban.

But the UCI’s own president, David Lappartient has said he should withdraw from professional racing pending a solution to his case.

Organisers, though, are delighted to have the sport’s biggest star lining up in a dream scenario, taking on last year’s champion Tom Dumoulin and home hope Fabio Aru.

And even the potentially explosive decision to start the race in Jerusalem, followed by two stages around Israel, hasn’t dampened Froome’s enthusiasm.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised. There was obviously a lot of talk before coming here about the security concerns but it’s been fantastic,” Froome said.

Dutchman Dumoulin, 27, could not hide his excitement at the prospect of starting the race in such a fabled and atmospheric city.

“Our hotel is near the old city, I couldn’t help myself but I took the bike and rode a lap around the whole city and also through the whole city,” said the Sunweb team leader.

“I was getting a lot of eyes [strange looks]: ‘Who’s this guy?’

“Because I was in normal clothes but on a special road bike.”

‘Well-balanced’

Dumuolin’s presence creates a particular challenge for Froome, who has previously been used to putting time into his climbing specialist rivals in time-trials.

That won’t be the case against Dumoulin, the world time-trial champion, who can also hold his own on the climbs.

“On paper, I’m certainly not going to be able to rely on time-trialling to try and win the Giro,” the Briton said.

“The race is an extremely well balanced race this year: there are time-trials but also a lot of mountains.”

Those two certainly won’t be able to keep their powder dry in the mountains while waiting for the races against the clock though, as there are six summit finishes and a host of talented climbers hungry for success.

“I won’t be conserving myself in front of Froome,” said Aru, who has previously finished second and third at the Giro and vowed to ride “an attacking race”.

The 27-year-old pointed to the likes of Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, who won last month’s Tour of the Alps, Italian Domenico Pozzovivo and Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez as being “in great form”.

“There could be 15 riders aiming for a high finish,” he added, mentioning Colombia’s Esteban Chaves, Simon Yates of Britain, New Zealander George Bennett and Canada’s Michael Woods.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from