Road World Championships 2017: Chris Froome - time trial medal would be a bonus

Any result at World Road Champs Time Trials will be a 'bonus' - Froome
UCI World Road Championships 2017
Host: Bergen, Norway Dates: 17-24 September
Coverage: Live coverage of the elite men's and women's time trials and road races on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, BBC Sport website & app. Men's time trial, Weds 20 Sep: 12:00-17:30 - BBC Red Button and online; 14:30-16:45 - BBC Two - full broadcast schedule here

Chris Froome goes into Wednesday's time trial at the World Championships with limited expectations after conceding he has been unable to train for the event.

The Briton is among the favourites to win a first world title after winning a fourth Tour de France title and the Vuelta a Espana over the summer.

He told BBC Sport: "I'm not banking on any result, anything would be a bonus.

"I'm here with whatever form I've got from the Vuelta. I feel fresh and I'm going to give it everything I've got."

The 32-year-old added: "The Worlds is not necessarily something I've been able to train specifically for. Physically I feel like I've bounced back well after the Vuelta. Mentally I'm a little bit tired but I know once I get through this week I can switch off for a bit."

Earlier this month Froome became just the third rider to win the Tour-Vuelta double in the same year, and the first to do so since the Spanish race was switched to follow the French one in 1995.

Chris Froome cycling for Britain at 2016 Rio Olympics
Froome won his second Olympic bronze medal in the individual time trial at Rio 2016

He has already won a bronze medal at this year's Worlds in Bergen, Norway, racing for his Team Sky trade team, and says it will be "a huge honour to put on the GB colours because there's only one occasion a year, apart from the Olympics, that I get to do that".

Froome has won two bronze medals in the individual time trial at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, but has never picked up an individual medal at the Worlds.

Only two British riders have won the gold medal, Chris Boardman taking the inaugural title in 1994, with Sir Bradley Wiggins winning in 2014.

Froome is expected to face stiff competition from Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin and his Team Sky team-mate Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus, while Germany's four-time winner and defending champion Tony Martin can never be discounted.

"I know I'm up against time trial specialists who have focused specifically on this and didn't race the Vuelta so that makes it more challenging but I'd rather be here giving it my best than being at home and wondering where I'd finish," he continued.

"It's a brutal course, only 31km, but we finish up this wall of a climb. It's not a standard time trial by any means.

"A lot of the pure time triallists will look at it and wonder how they tackle it. The organisers have shaken it up and we could get a surprise result."

Tao Geoghegan Hart will be Britain's other rider in the race, which features 65 competitors, after being elevated from reserve following Steve Cummings' withdrawal.

The 22-year-old was fourth in the British time trial earlier this year and is racing in his first elite Worlds.

"The time trial is easy," he said. "You give it your all and see how it goes. You're not going to finish thinking you've left something on the road with the big climb at the end."

To change or not to change?

Cycling's governing body, the UCI, has sanctioned bike changes for the race, given the 3.1km ascent of Mount Floyen to the finish that has an average gradient of a little over 9%.

Riders may find it quicker to swap their time trial bike for a normal road bike before they tackle the final climb, despite it taking around 20 seconds to slow down, change and get back up to speed.

For the first time in the race's 23-year history, a bike change area has been set up. Helpers will be able to 'push off' their rider for a maximum of 20 metres after the swap.

The Belgian riders have been practising their changeoversexternal-link in a car park.

Froome has used a bike swap during a time trial to good effect in the past, doing so on stage 17 of the 2013 Tour on his way to winning the title.

He is likely to decide on his tactics after a training ride on Tuesday.

Dumoulin chasing double

Dutch rider Dumoulin is also contemplating changing bikes as he tries to add the individual title to the team gold he won with Team Sunweb on Sunday.

Dumoulin is a time trial specialist and used his skills to good effect back in May, winning both individual races against the clock during the Giro to claim his first Grand Tour victory.

He also beat Froome by more than one minute on a hilly course during the 2016 Tour de France.

His compatriot Wilco Kelderman is also looking to change bikes before the climb. "I think you can climb tens of seconds faster on a road bike than on a time trial bike," he said.


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Top Stories


Elsewhere on the BBC