The four-time Tour winner will be competing at the race with Team Ineos for the final time before he leaves to join Israel Start-Up Nation.

While there are questions over the dynamics at Ineos, with Tour winners Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas also in the team, Froome is feeling good.

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“I feel like I'm on the right trajectory in terms of the Tour de France,” he told CyclingNews before the second stage of the Route d'Occitanie, which is his first race since the season was suspended in February.

"There's still a bit of work to do, but that's all part of the Tour build-up.

"The delay to the major races has helped me take the next step in terms of being back to my normal self again. I think that given where we are right now, with just about a month to the Tour, I'm on the right trajectory for that race. I'm happy with where I'm at.”

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Froome, who suffered a number of serious injuries in a crash last June, hasn’t been involved at the front in two relatively flat opening stages of the Route d'Occitanie.

But he says he is enjoying the return to racing and getting miles in his legs as the season resumes.

“I loved it yesterday. It felt so good to be back in a proper race again, not only after the crash and coming back from injury, but after the whole COVID situation as well.

“It felt so good just to be able to do what we spent months and months and months preparing to do. Looking at the bigger picture, I also think from the perspective of everyone's mental health that it's good to be back.

"My legs felt good too. OK, it wasn't a hugely challenging stage yesterday other than the heat, but I felt surprisingly easy on the wheels."

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