Chris Froome will end his season in Italy this week, declining the chance to ride in the British Championships, but has ruled out the prospect of retirement.
The four-time winner of the Tour de France has had a tough time in 2021, with his form a long way short of his best.
Froome claims his body is heading in the right direction, as he battles back from the serious crash he suffered in 2019, but has not done enough work on his time-trial bike to allow him to ride in the British Championship.
Pogacar has already joined the pantheon of greats but terrifyingly there is much more to come
As such, he will finish his season in northern Italy in Saturday’s Il Lombardia and Monday’s Coppa Agostoni.
“I did enter the national time trial champs a few weeks ago because I was feeling good but I’ve since spent so much time on the road at different races that I haven’t had the time to specifically train for time trials,” Froome told Cyclingnews.
“I was hoping to spend time on my new time trial equipment: the new Factor Hanzo bike that has been released, but so far I’ve only been able to check that my time trial position is right. It’s been a while since I raced in the UK and I’d love to go over there but I don't think I can do it just this time. Of course, if nationals are back in June in 2022, then I’d certainly hope to be there.”
Froome: I can't say when I'll be back to my former level
The 36-year-old remains under contract at Israel Start-Up Nation, and is looking forward to the 2022 campaign.
“I’ve got a couple of weeks off but I’ve no real vacation planned," Froome said. "My son is at school now and so I’ll simply enjoy the time at home with the family.
“I’ve got a couple of charity events with the Best Buddies guys in San Francisco and Miami during the winter. We’ve also got a team camp over in Israel in early November, which I hope to go, if travel restrictions allow us. Then it starts all over again next year and we keep going.”
Highlights: Pogacar matches Coppi and Merckx with Il Lombardia success
‘It’s crazy to finish like this’ – Pogacar after making history at Il Lombardia