Chris Froome is still slated to appear at the Tour de France this summer, according to Israel Start-Up Nation directeur sportif Cherie Pridham.
Froome switched from Ineos Grenadiers to ISN this season in a bid to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain on five Tour wins, an official record after Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles.
The four-time champion has shown little to suggest that a tilt in France is possible this time around, with the 36-year-old still on the comeback trail from career-threatening injuries.
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“Chris is working hard. He’s just come from another altitude training camp and we’ll keep supporting Chris,” said Pridham.
“Whether he’s on form, or whether he’s there to support the team… Chris will want to be a team player, whether that be a road captain or whatever.
“Just to have somebody as experienced as Chris Froome on any team is a bonus.”
Watch Pridham’s brilliant celebration as Schmidt triumphs
Froome is returning to the scene of his horror crash at the Criterium du Dauphine this weekend.
He was left in intensive care after suffering multiple fractures when being blown off his bike during a recon ride at the event in 2019.
The Briton insists that the doubters spur him on as he bids to rediscover the form and fitness that propelled him to seven Grand Tour wins.
While Froome probably won’t be taking home the maillot jaune in France in 2021, with the likes of defending champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) and former teammate Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) on the start list, his appearance will give the latest indication as to his current level.
'I've loved every minute'
Pridham also opened up about being the first woman to hold a DS role on the men’s World Tour.
Footage of her celebrating a victory at her first race captured attention and acclaim on social media after ISN's Mads Wurtz Schmidt won a stage at Tirreno-Adriatico in March.
“I’ve loved every minute of it," she said.
"It’s something that I’ve always dreamed about doing and I took my opportunity when the moment was right last year to reach out to a handful of World Tour teams. And Israel Start-Up Nation gave me the opportunity and I’ve not looked back since.
“The encouragement, support and greetings that I’ve had from the other sports directors on other teams has been phenomenal.
"That particular win we had, the following day I had so many sports directors, from almost every team, coming to welcome me to the World Tour and to say congratulations on the win."
‘I’ve loved every minute’ – Pridham on being first female DS on men’s World Tour
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