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Chris Froome to continue season at Tour of the Alps

Joe Robinson
11 Apr 2018

With a month until the Giro d'Italia, the under fire rider continues his Giro-Tour preparation

Chris Froome (Team Sky) will continue his preperation ahead of next month's Giro d'Italia by lining up at the Tour of the Alps stage race next Monday.  Formerly named the Giro del Trentino, the Tour of the Alps will be the last race for the four time Tour de France champion before he embarks on his ambitious Giro-Tour double attempt.

The race will take place over five stages racing through the mountainous Alpine regions of Italy and Austria making it perfect preperation for the Giro, hence the presence of Froome as well as Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana). 

Froome's usual band of Grand Tour helpers are largely absent from the line-up, with many in northern Europe tackling the Ardennes Classics. When the race hits the mountains, it is likely Froome will be relying on David De La Cruz, Diego Rosa and Kenny Elissonde for support.

Froome will enter the race as Team Sky leader hoping to secure overall victory and more importantly race in to good form ahead of the upcoming Giro, despite a poor start to the season on the bike and a controversial start to the season off of the bike.

The 32-year-old is currently under investigation for an adverse analytical finding for asthma drug salbutamol returned at last year's Vuelta a Espana, a race Froome went on to win.

The possibility of a two year ban still hangs over the rider as he and his team attempt to prove their innocence to the UCI and WADA.

Many, including some of Froome's fellow riders, have called for the rider to withdraw himself from racing while investigations continue, citing the added media attention and potential embarrassment of a retrospective ban as a reason for Froome to not be riding. 

This will undoubtedly be playing on the mind of Froome and has been arguably reflected in his results this season so far. Riding to 10th at the Ruta del Sol in February was an understated season opener and saw initial worries raised.

The troubles were then confirmed with a poor performance at Tirreno-Adriatico in March. On the race's first summit finish to Sarnano Sassotetto, Froome struggled to keep the pace losing 1 minute and 10 seconds to stage winner and former teammate Mikel Landa (Movistar).

Froome finished the race 34th on General Classification a full 13 minutes and 31 seconds down on eventual race winner and teammate Michal Kwiatkowski.

Hopefully for Team Sky, the Tour of the Alps will prove a happy hunting ground for Froome with the team being dominant at the race over the past few seasons.

The last three editions have been won by Team Sky with Richie Porte, Landa and Geraint Thomas all taking victories.