Chris Froome and a small selection of his Israel Start-Up Nation teammates are set to conclude a two-week window of training on the island of Tenerife on Thursday before the four-time Tour de France winner heads to Spain for the Volta a Catalunya.
The WorldTour race will be Froome’s next outing as he builds form ahead of the Tour de France, but the 35-year-old, who made his season debut in the UAE Tour, believes that riders are already in peak condition despite so many objectives being still months away.
“Judging by the races it certainly seems as if everyone is in form pretty early. These early-season races aren’t what they used to be. Typically people would be getting into the racing season early on and using that build-up for the bigger races,” Froome said in a video posted by his team.
“Now people are hitting the ground running. At those races, the level is at the highest level that I’d imagine for the Tour de France. So we’re seeing now that races are at a much higher level and a testament to that is that there are people up here at altitude getting ready.”
Froome is no stranger to Tenerife, having used the base for several seasons during his Team Sky and Ineos days. He has been joined by a small band of riders this time around as they build up their altitude mileage.
“There are a few of us up here. Daryl Impey, Alex Cataford and Ben Hermans, myself, and a few support staff to help us out. It’s a big block for us and we’re getting some big miles in and some good miles. We do strength sessions off the bike, rinse and repeat.”
Froome admitted that he’s still tweaking his training and approach to the season due to his long-standing injury issues related to his 2019 Criterium du Dauphine crash.
“I imagine that over the next few months I’ll make a lot of tweaks. I’m still doing a lot of the strength work off the bike and just making adjustments as I go. That’s something I’ll have to do throughout my career as keep working on imbalances. Obviously, the biggest goal in the back of my mind is to be ready for July and the Tour de France. And be back to being my old self again.”
He also addressed the controversy stemming from his comments surrounding disc brakes. Earlier in the year he publicly stated that he had reservations about the technology.
“This feels like my second home when I’m preparing for the Tour de France. Thanks to everyone for watching my last video. I didn’t really expect it to get quite as much traction as it did, about disc brakes. As a team, it’s certainly something that we’re working on as a team and hopefully, we’ll have more updates over the coming months.”