Chris Froome says he hopes to use the Tour de France as a ‘stepping stone’ to get near to his best level pre-injury.
The 36-year-old will be the road captain for Israel Start-Up Nation at the Tour de France with Michael Woods to lead in the general classification.
Froome is yet to fully rediscover his best racing form after suffering a huge crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine which left him requiring surgery.
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The four-time Tour winner is excited for the 2021 edition and says he is approaching it like his Tour debut 13 years ago.
"I’m really excited for this year’s start, especially given Brest was where I first discovered the Tour back in 2008 as a neo-pro, it’s come full circle for me now," Froome said during a pre-race press conference.
"In a funny kind of way, I’m heading to the Tour de France with a similar mindset as back in 2008.
I’m looking to gain something through racing the Tour de France. Hopefully, it will be a stepping stone for me to get back to my former level of racing.
“I’m really happy to be on the start line this year and to be putting my recovery process behind me."
Froome is looking forward to racing in a support role and that he hopes he can be a good teammate.
He added: "For me, it feels great to be able to give back now, in a very different way to the team. Typically going into the Tour de France I’ve got a lot of pressure on my shoulders as a GC contender, but that’s not the case this time.
"My only focus is on the guys around me and trying to do the best job possible to support them.
“For almost the last decade now, I’ve been going into the Tour de France with the team doing a similar job for me, and it feels great to be on the other side now and to give back a bit."
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