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Froome disputes Tour de France setback rumours

Joe Robinson
6 Jan 2020

The four-time champion was reported to have left a training camp after just two days

Chris Froome has contested claims he was forced to leave a team camp after a setback to his prolonged return from injury, casting major doubts over his Tour de France participation in July.

It was suggested the four-time yellow jersey winner left the training camp in Spain after two-days, finding himself further behind in his rehabilitation from injury with his recovery being described as 'slow'.

Reported by Bicisport in Italy, Team Ineos sports director Dario Cioni said: 'After two days of training in Spain, Froome, who aspires to the fifth yellow jersey, returns home. He is not well and who knows if he will recover.'

Froome has, however, disputed these claims on his Twitter writing: 'Hope that I can set this straight, I was last at a training camp at the beginning of December. My recovery is going well and I will be heading to my next training camp on Thursday.'

Froome continues to return from his horror crash at last year's Criterium du Dauphine. On a recon of the Stage 4 time trial, the 34-year-old crashed into a wall fracturing his neck, femur, hip and ribs.

Extensive surgery and recovery were expected to see Froome miss the remainder of the 2019 season, however he did announce he would race the season-ending Saitama Criterium in Japan.

Froome, however, pulled out confirming he was still not able to return to racing.

The uncertainty regarding Froome's recovery will cause Dave Brailsford and the wider Ineos team to begin replanning the season ahead in terms of Grand Tours.

It was fully expected that the team would take Froome to the Tour to target a record-equalling fifth title. As a compromise, it was then expected that either defending champion Egan Bernal or 2018 champion Geraint Thomas would ride the Giro d'Italia.

Yet, with the chances of Froome being ready by July in the balance, it is highly likely that Team Ineos will draft both Bernal and Thomas into their Tour team as joint leaders, like last year.

Either way, Team Ineos will need to have their paper in order for the Tour as they face stiff competition from Dutch team Jumbo-Visma.

In a show of strength, they decided to announce their Tour roster last month, confirming that Tom Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk will all be racing.

This story was updated to include Froome's tweet