Sunday 21 January 2018

Froome hopes to add golden shine to his Tour crown


Chris Froome will aim to emulate Bradley Wiggins by winning the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year in today's Rio road time-trial.

Froome took bronze as Wiggins won London 2012 gold in the time-trial, 10 days after becoming the first British winner of the Tour.

Now Froome, a three-time Tour winner, is seeking to climb the podium, 17 days after riding into Paris in the yellow jersey.

"I was really chuffed to get bronze four years ago," Froome said. "It was really important to me and to be able to medal here after the summer I've had, it would just be incredible."

Froome had taken the sole British men's place, until Geraint Thomas' late inclusion following a spate of crashes in last Saturday's road race prompted the withdrawals of Australia's Richie Porte and Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.

"Whilst I'm thrilled to represent my country in a second event in Rio, the circumstances surrounding my inclusion are unfortunate and I'd like to wish all those who withdrew through injury a quick recovery," said Thomas.

"I lost quite a lot of skin in my crash and my hip took a pretty big knock, but other than that my legs are feeling good and I'm looking forward to racing again."

Holland's Tom Dumoulin, who won two stages of the Tour, but also suffered a fractured wrist, quit the road race almost as soon as it had started to save himself for the time-trial.

And Rohan Dennis of Australia is another contender, while the hilly nature of the 54.5km contest is likely to count Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland and Germany's Tony Martin, silver medallist four years ago, out of the gold medal reckoning.

The course, featuring two laps of the undulating Grumari circuit, is also likely to see world champion Vasil Kiryienka struggle to challenge for gold.

Irish Independent

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