Froome set for Ventoux test
Brit praises fan support after a week in yellow
By Richard Simpson. Last Updated: 16/07/13 8:54pm
Froome: Established himself in the maillot jaune
Chris Froome admits he is gradually adjusting to life in the yellow jersey as he prepares for his biggest test of the Tour de France to date.
Sunday sees stage 15 and a 242.5-kilometre jaunt from Givors to the summit of Mont Ventoux – one of the most renowned and feared climbs in cycling.
The Brit carries a lead of two minutes and 28 seconds into the mountainous test and admits that during his first week in yellow, each day has been a new experience.
“Every day we go out there and we’ve got a fight to stay in position,” he told TeamSky.com. “I feel like I’m still adjusting to everything that comes with the yellow jersey. It’s not just about being up at the front of the race on the bike. There’s all the media that’s attached to it and the hype that comes with the yellow jersey. But this is the goal and I feel absolutely privileged to be in this position.”
That position is helped by the rousing support Froome and his Team Sky team-mates are receiving along the roadside from the fans.
“The number of British fans that are over here is just incredible,” added the 28-year-old. “But it’s not just the British fans. We’re getting a huge amount of support from all the fans out on the road. There really are thousands and thousands of people who have come out to support the bike race and cheer us on.
“It’s quite an amazing atmosphere on the road as there is barely a stretch without noise and without people shouting and cheering. You get used to the constant hum of noise around you during the day.”
All set for Ventoux
With Froome and his remaining six team-mates preparing for a big test ahead of the second rest day, the Brit admits it is not just the famous climb that will make stage 15 such a stern test.
“Everyone needs to remember that Ventoux comes at the end of a 240-kilometre stage. It really is an epic day tomorrow and for a lot of guys their day will be over by the time we get to the bottom of the climb. They will be sitting up and thinking about riding in the gruppetto. But for the GC guys that will be when our race starts. The climb should be about an hour long and there’s potentially a lot of attacking riding to do in that hour.”
As for how his rivals will approach the fearsome hors-categorie ascent, Froome reasoned: “It’ll be interesting to see as there are so many races within the race here. A lot of people have lost time in the first two weeks. A lot of people have spent a lot of energy already. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens out on the road.
“There are all kinds of motives and reasons for people to do certain things on the climb. It’s quite hard to say beforehand but it’s going to be really exciting either way.”