Chris Froome is not considering retirement
The 37-year-old British rider begins his sixteenth season as a professional cyclist racing in the Tour Down Under with the hope of recovering his level and becoming competitive again. Despite finishing his contract with Israel-PremierTech at the end of 2023, retirement is not on Chris Froome's mind, who remains motivated to compete and continue working to remain among the elite of the peloton.
2023 will not be Chris Froome's final year
As with Alejandro Valverde in recent years, while cyclists of his generation are gradually hanging up their bikes, the last to announce it was Thibaut Pinot a few days ago, Chris Froome is still excited to be part of this sport and does not have in mind to end his career as he made clear in statements prior to the start of the season at the Tour Down Under.
"I feel like I've been given another chance. If I had ended my career, I would have the feeling that I still have more to give. Even if I'm not among the top riders, I still enjoy it. I'm looking to get back to my level. I'm enjoying it and I hope to do it for a few more years." With these words Chris Froome made it absolutely clear that cycling is still his priority and that he is not considering hanging up his bike despite speculation that this is the last year of his contract with Israel-PremierTech.
In fact, the owner of the Israeli team corroborated Chris Froome's words with an emphatic "he will race as long as he wants", making it clear that the renewal of the four-time Tour de France winner will not pose any problem for his continuity in cycling.
These haven't been easy seasons for Chris Froome after the crash in the recognition of the time trial of the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2019, which caused him a serious injury in the form of a broken femur and hip damage that led him to a very long recovery process. A couple of years without victory, but with the image of a Tour winner who would fall off the pace as soon as the pace of the race or the terrain became a little complicated.
However, in 2022 we already saw some hint of competitiveness in Chris Froome during the Tour de France, being in the fight until the last kilometers of the stage ending in Alpe d'Huez where he was the only one able to follow the terrifying descent of Tom Pidcock in the Galibier. A pity that the Covid ended with an exciting Tour and left him out of the picture for La Vuelta in which he went unnoticed "I finished the season with bad feelings and with the feeling of needing to stop now".
For the first time since 2010, Chris Froome returns to the Tour Down Under to start his season. A second Covid's infection before Christmas kept him out for a week and, now, the idea is to stay for 5 weeks in Australia racing and training to get ready for the European races, making it clear what his focus will be.
"I'm a realist," he stated about the unlikely possibility of adding his 5th Tour. "Maybe focusing on one-week races and trying to be with the best overall in races like Paris-Nice, Switzerland or Dauphiné is the natural next step."
In any case, this week it was announced which will be the teams participating in the next Tour de France 2023, among which will be Israel-PremierTech, which has received one of the invitations available to the French race, so the team will hardly notice the competitive aspect of the downgrade. Of course, the French round is also part of Chris Froome's objectives for the season that is now beginning and in which we all want to see this magnificent cyclist ready to race again.
What do you think? Can Chris Froome win races again?