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Team Sky’s Tour de France winner Chris Froome has all but confirmed that he will participate in the Vuelta a España, thus setting up the clash with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) that failed to materialize in France due to Contador...

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CHRIS FROOME

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12.08.2016 @ 09:25 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Moments after Froome rode to a bronze medal in the Olympic time trial, the Sky rider told journalists it’s “very likely” he will race the Vuelta.

“I still need to discuss it with my team and coach,” Froome said. “But it’s very likely that I will be racing the Vuelta a España,” Velonews reported.

 

Froome has raced the Vuelta four out of the last five years (choosing to forego the race in 2013 after winning his first Tour). He finished as runner-up in the 2011 Vuelta to mark his emergence as a grand tour contender, and he says he has a combination of a soft spot and unsettled business with the Spanish grand tour. He was fourth and second in the 2012 and 2014 Vueltas, each time behind Alberto Contador. Last year, Froome crashed out with a toe injury while attempting to do the Tour-Vuelta double.

 

Following his Olympic tribulations, Froome is likely to enjoy a few days of recuperation some intense weeks. After winning the Tour, he raced in England for the first time in two years, and then bunkered down in Rio, where he was 12th in the road race and third in the time trial.

 

Waiting for Froome as he tries to become the first rider to claim the Tour-Vuelta double since the Spanish grand tour was pushed forward on the race calendar in 1995, is Alberto Contador, who won the Vuelta a Burgos over the weekend, and will be motivated to make up for the disappointment of crashing out of the Tour.

 

“One thing I’ve learned about racing against Alberto is that it’s very hard to take back time on him,” Froome said in an earlier interview. “He’s certainly one of my top rivals out there.”

 

Should either Contador or Froome falter, other confirmed starters such as Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Esteban Chaves (Orica – BikeExchange), and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL – Jumbo) will be all too happy to step to the forefront and claim a place in the spotlight.

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