Chris Froome has returned to racing at the UAE Tour. Those who called out his crash back in June 2019 as a big ol’ hoax are currently silent on the matter. Everyone else is in agreement that hitting a wall at 60 kph is not a good way to react to the emergence of the current crop of uber-quick young superstars; Bernal, Evenepoel, et al.
To be clear, we can’t say for certain that was the reason for the crash. That Froome turned to teammate Wout Pouls alongside him, removed his hands from his bars, and announced: “Wout me old mate, those kids don’t scare me…watch THIS!”
No. That may well not have happened.
But, whatever, Froome is on the comeback trail, and you, dear reader, need to dial in your Froome game. It’s time to reset the Froome-o-meter and figure out where we’re at.
Froome will never be the same again
He’s thirty-five years old and his skeleton, despite the best medical care money can buy, is now – and I apologise in advance for the use of medical terminology – all out of whack. His right leg is reportedly weak and his left leg is forced to overcompensate. In his own words he was limping just a couple of months ago.
Teammate Egan Bernal has committed friendly, on-message regicide; other teammates Richard Carapaz and Geraint Thomas are hovering, saying lovely things whilst smelling blood; elsewhere the likes of Yates(s), Roglic, and Dumoulin are circling like skinny vultures over the savannah of the pro peloton, primed to swoop down and peck poor Froomey to pieces.
Come on Chris, give it up lad. You don’t need to do this. There’s more to life than sporting immortality and adulation. Play with your kids; catch up on the DIY; build a massive trainset in your loft.
Live a little.Embed from Getty Images
Froome is Froome and he’ll get back to his best and prove everyone wrong
The man is a machine. Some say robot. His brain dependant on a simple algorithm that sees a pedal stroke, does the maths, and directs his legs to follow it with another.
The ascetic lifestyle of a Grand Tour champion, for Froome, is not a sacrifice. It’s a logical and linear progression towards completion of a goal, which in itself is the starting point for a goal, which precedes another goal, before he embarks upon achieving a goal…
Suggesting he give it up is like proposing a break from breathing because other, younger breathers, are probably now better at breathing than he.
Some say that if Dave Brailsford were to jump out from behind the team bus one day and give him a massive shock, as if trying to dislodge a particularly persistent bout of the hiccups, Froome could, in theory, be jolted from this well grooved process of demented achievement to embark on a life of balance and simple pleasure.
They are probably wrong.
If, as in Golf, major winners were given automatic entry to compete as a former champion for life, we would undoubtedly see Froome at the Tour de France 2060. Lining up against Egan Bernal’s son, Geraint Thomas’s grandson, and Alejandro Valverde, and still fancying his chances for a podium.
I dunno, the waggly elbows…
A fair point. Many of us have never really come to terms with them, preferring the more mainstream elbows of a Mikel Landa or a Thibaut Pinot. For many of us, the spaghetti arms render any other Froome-analysis moot.