Chris Froome is “definitely not” winning the Tour de France again, according to Eurosport expert Robbie McEwen.
Froome’s hopes of joining Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain on five yellow jerseys look increasingly unlikely as he continues to look a shadow of his former self.
The Brit has not been the same rider since his horror crash during a recon ride at the Criterium de Dauphine in 2019, which left him with a fractured neck, femur, hip, elbow and ribs.
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He returned to racing eight months later – a remarkable feat in itself – but has not cracked the top 10 in any major race since his comeback. However, he posted the best performance of his comeback on Tuesday at the Mercan'Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes, finishing 11th after sticking to the lead group into the final climb.
He issued an upbeat assessment after the one-day race in France, raising hopes he will appear at the Tour in July with Israel-Premier Tech, but McEwen says he should forget thoughts of adding to his haul of four titles and instead focus on helping the team.
“He should be at the Tour. That’s why Israel-Premier Tech signed him: to have a figurehead of the team, someone to fly the flag and get a lot of publicity,” said McEwen.
“But in terms of performances, just purely physical on the bike, I don’t think he’s up to… definitely not winning the Tour anymore, I doubt that he will be in contention to win a stage.
“But he can make a difference to his own team. It all goes back to that horrible crash he had at the Dauphine.
“He’s now 37, so he’s not getting any younger, it just gets harder and harder and he’s had a lot of obstacles in his way. So it’s going to be really tough just get to through it, let alone perform at a very high level at the Tour.”

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“I think he should go [to the Tour],” said Adam Blythe. “He’s a great champion, let’s not forget he came from an awful crash. If you look at that in black and white, where he is at now is a huge achievement.
“I think him going to the Tour de France can massively help that team: experience, what to do in stages, everything around the Tour he has the wealth of experience with.
“Bike riding, sadly, is a business. So Chris Froome being there [means] massive publicity for him and the team.
“But in terms of what he can do at the race? I’m not too sure. I think a stage win would mean the world to him, but not quite sure that’s in reach for him in the condition that we’ve seen him in the last few years.”
Froome has consistently hit back at critics who think his career is already over, saying he uses doubts as motivation.
“I’ve seen quite a lot of people on social media getting in touch and saying ‘listen, mate, hang up your bike. You’re done. You’re finished. You’re never going to get back there.’ It just makes me laugh,” Froome said in a social media video in May last year.
“First of all, I don’t think people know how bad my injuries were and how far I’ve had to come just to get back to a professional level of racing. Those people clearly don’t know me as a person either. I’m not just going to hang it up. I know that I can get there.
“It’s going to take time and I’ve got a lot of work to do but I’m prepared to do that work. That’s what drives me and what gets me out of bed in the morning. I thoroughly love the sacrifice and the whole regime and work side of being a professional cyclist and I’m not just going to throw in the towel because I haven’t reached that point yet.”
The Tour de France begins in Denmark on July 1.
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24/06/2022 AT 13:13