Alberto Contador labelled Chris Froome one of his biggest rivals and admitted it is a surprise to see him as a domestique at La Vuelta – comparing the Brit’s status to that of Roger Federer.
Contador and Froome slugged it out on the road for much of the decade until the Spaniard’s retirement in 2017, with both men boasting a palmares that features seven Grand Tour wins.
However, Froome is without a major title since winning the Giro d’Italia in 2018 and is still fighting for form after his horror crash at the Criterium du Dauphine last year.
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He is currently 117th in the Vuelta standings, over four hours adrift of leader and Ineos Grenadiers teammate Richard Carapaz. Froome will join Israel Start-Up Nation next season.

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"Ineos has to make the most of Froome. Along with Andy Schleck, Chris has been the most important rival in my career and to see him as he is now surprises me a lot," Eurosport expert Contador said.
"Froome is one of those who always competes to win and to see his role in this race working for others is something new."
Contador praised Froome for continuing to work for the team cause, even when his own GC hopes were non-existent.
"Chris shows his humility by working in this way for the interests of the team. Can we imagine Federer preparing the way for people like Zverev or Rublev?"

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