Froome set for 2017 debut

25 Jan 2017

Froome set for 2017 debut

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Chris Froome is going to give it ‘everything he’s got’ in Sunday’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race as he starts his 2017 season in earnest.

Froome kicks off his campaign tomorrow with Race Melbourne, a criterium warm up ahead of Sunday’s WorldTour test, but he’s been in Australia for two weeks training hard.
And next week the 31 year old will attempt to defend his Herald Sun Tour title as he begins his stage race build up to the Tour de France.
He said: "It’s good to be down here. It’s how I started my season last year, down in Australia, and I came out a bit earlier this year. I’ve just done a good training block before kicking off the racing.
"It’s about soaking up the good weather, getting the miles in that are hard to do at this time of the year over in Europe, and also enjoying the crowds."
Chris Froome

Chris Froome

Everyone comes out to watch down here and this is the closest the Australian fans can get to experiencing the whole European scene and what it’s like at the Tour de France.
Speaking at the pre-race press conference, Froome praised the Cadel Evans Road Race organisers’ work in crafting an unpredictable route, as the team attempts to defend Pete Kennaugh’s title. 
He continued: “I just got in last night so I don’t really know what I’m up against but I’ve seen footage of last year and saw how Pete got away on that final climb. I guess every edition will be different but I think the organisers have done a great job of putting in a course that is untraditional. You can see so many different scenarios out on the road depending on who’s there, what teams are controlling the bunch - it’s just a very open race. It should be exciting."

And Froome is hoping to be there at the business end of the race: "My motivation is right up there. I’m certainly not in Tour de France shape but I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. We’ll see what that ends up with. 
"We’ve got a strong team out here and we’ll have a few different options; a few different cards to play. It should be a really good battle out there."
The three-time Tour de France winner should be nicely warmed up after Thursday's Race Melbourne criterium too, a 116km blast around Melbourne’s F1 circuit. 
He added: "It will hopefully be less of a shock to the system when I get onto the start line on Sunday with tomorrow in mind. It will be rapid - it’s obviously quite short, there’s quick laps around there, so that’s definitely going to help to top up the lack of race speed I’ve had."