Wout Poels: Chris Froome should skip the Giro and join the elite group of Tour winners

The Dutchman says his team-mate can’t afford to pass on the opportunity to become a five-time Tour de France champion

Chris Froome on stage eight of the 2017 Tour de France.

The Dutchman says his team-mate can’t afford to pass on the opportunity to become a five-time Tour de France champion

‘It’s a great route for us’: Chris Froome and Team Sky DS hopeful of 2018 Tour de France chances

Team already thinking about balance of squad with one fewer rider to pick for the race

Team Sky lead the peloton on stage 12 of the 2017 Tour de France (Sunada)

Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal has said that the route of the 2018 Tour de France will suit the team, with Froome looking at tough first week.

Comment: Is the 2018 Tour de France route finally one to get the better of Chris Froome and Sky?

Cobbles, just 31km of time trialling and the shortest stage ever; is the 2018 Tour route the one to stop Sky’s dominance of the race?

Tour de France 2017 – 23/07/2017 – Etape 21 – Montgeron / Paris Champs-Elysées (103 km) – France – TEAM SKY

Cobbles, just 31km of time trialling and the shortest stage ever; is the 2018 Tour route the one to stop Sky’s dominance of the race?

Froome: Joining Tour’s five-win club won’t be easy

Chris Froome (Sky) knows he’s got his work cut out for him if he wants to join the five-win club at the Tour de France next summer.

After getting his first glimpse Tuesday of the 2018 Tour route, Froome admitted that winning a fifth yellow jersey won’t be easy as he seeks to join cycling’s most elite club.

“We’ve got a massive challenge ahead of us for next year,” Froome told Eurosport. “It’s a Tour de France that tests every aspect of cycling.”

Froome, 32, will line up next July as the five-star favorite. No rider has won four yellow jerseys without winning a fifth.

On Tuesday, after watching the official route presentation in Paris, Froome singled out the stage ending as at Alpe d’Huez as the “queen stage” for 2018.

“I think the ‘queen stage’ will be the Alpe d’Huez stage,” he said. “With 5,000 meters of climbing, that will be the biggest challenge of the Tour.”

The route features relatively few kilometers against the clock, which means the climbers will be licking their chops as they try to take down Froome and Team Sky’s dominance at the Tour. All the major climbs will be packed into the final half of the race, but Froome pointed to the dangers lurking in the first week.

Crosswinds, narrow roads, and the inclusion of 15 sectors of cobblestones in stage 9 mean that the race could be lost even before reaching the mountains. The only year Froome missed out on the Tour, in 2014, was when he crashed out in the first week.

“That’s going to make the Tour very nervous until we reach the Alps,” Froome said. “It will be a very nervous race. That region in the northwest part of France is known to be very windy. That will play a big part as well.”

Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford called the Tour route “balanced,” and said it will require a complete performance to win.

“It’s a very balanced route, and it will favor the most complete rider,” Brailsford said. “There’s a team time trial, there’s pavé, stages with a lot of wind, mountains, including one that’s only 65km. It’s a route that favors a complete rider, but it’s clear there are more mountains than time trials.”

Hot off winning the Tour and Vuelta a España in consecutive fashion this season, Froome was awarded the Velo d’Or prize as the best rider in 2017 on Tuesday as well.

The post Froome: Joining Tour’s five-win club won’t be easy appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Chris Froome ‘wouldn’t expect anything different from the organisers’ with tough 2018 Tour de France route

Team Sky rider relishing the challenge of varied terrains and road surfaces on 2018 route

Chris Froome on the Col d’Izoard at the Tour de France 2017 (ASO/Pauline Ballet)

With cobbles, gravel, and a 65km mountain stage, the Tour de France 2018 route packs in plenty of challenges designed to test Chris Froome to his limit.