Sport: Chris Froome's absence leaves a huge power vacuum at the Tour de France - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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SportChris Froome's absence leaves a huge power vacuum at the Tour de France

12:45  13 june  2019
12:45  13 june  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

BREAKING NEWS: Froome to miss Tour de France

BREAKING NEWS: Froome to miss Tour de France Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome will not contest the race in 2019 following a crash on Wednesday.

The Team Sky rider topped the overall standings 54sec ahead of Rigoberto Urán while Dylan Groenewegen took victory in the final stage in Paris.

André Greipel won his first stage of this year’ s Tour de France when he held off Peter Sagan on the final day in the Champs Élysées with Chris Froome coasting to overall victory.

Chris Froome's absence leaves a huge power vacuum at the Tour de France © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

No disrespect to last year’s winner Geraint Thomas, but the absence of team-mate Chris Froome from this year’s Tour de France creates a huge power vacuum - and Team Ineos and Thomas will face fierce competition to fill it.

Simultaneously, Froome’s dream of equalling the current record of five Tour victories will forcibly be put on hold for 12 months at the least. Given Froome turns 35 next May, an age when most Tour winners are nearing the end of their careers, that dream may now be out of his reach for good.

But that is all in the future. For now, the most brutal kind of bad luck for Froome in a 60kph downhill training crash in the Criterium du Dauphine has left the Briton out of the running for July. And in a flash, international cycling’s clock has been turned back, to a scenario last witnessed in the Tour of 2014.

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The Tour de France (French pronunciation: [tuʁ də fʁɑ̃s]) is an annual men' s multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France , while also occasionally passing through nearby countries.

Given that all Chris Froome ’ s stage wins in the Tour de France prior to this year had come either in uphill finishes or time trials, there were grounds for claiming that the double This is an open Tour so far. At the equivalent stage in his two successful Tours in 2013 and 2015, as the race left the

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Wide open

Chris Froome's absence leaves a huge power vacuum at the Tour de France © Getty (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2013 Froome had dominated the Tour from beginning to end. But in 2014 having started as the Tour’s absolute favourite, Froome’s dramatic crash-out following repeated falls in the rainsoaked first week left that year’s Tour wide open.

This year, albeit with strong echoes of 2014, Froome’s departure makes a much bigger difference. Because having won the Tour for three years on the trot between 2015 and 2017 Froome has unquestionably established himself as the most successful Grand Tour racer of his generation.

Geraint Thomas believes team-mate Chris Froome's horrific high-speed crash 'could have been a lot worse'

Geraint Thomas believes team-mate Chris Froome's horrific high-speed crash 'could have been a lot worse' Chris Froome's team-mate Geraint Thomas believes the injuries the four-time Tour de France champion suffered in a horrific crash last week could have been 'a hell of a lot worse'. Froome suffered extensive injuries when his bike hit a wall at almost 35mph last Wednesday during his fourth-stage reconnaissance of the Criterium du Dauphine. He is recovering at the University Hospital of St Etienne where he underwent a six-hour operation, having fractured his right femur and suffered a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs, while it was also reported he fractured his neck.

Chris Froome sealed his second Tour de France win in succession, and third victory overall, while André Chris Froome has taken a third Tour , another achieved through the phenomenal strength of his team, but “This is his 15th Tour de France at the age of 39 and he has consistently ridden well, but Team Sky show power of the pack is key to Tour de France dominance | William Fotheringham.

From Chris Froome ’ s breakaway in the Giro d’Italia to an epic Wimbledon showdown, my year featured a number of breathtaking highlights. Geraint Thomas says his first Tour de France victory has given him a ‘taste’ for more grand tour successes. Published: 3:36 PM.

That is why a few days ago team principal Dave Brailsford said that Ineos would be doing “all we can to support Chris in his bid to win a fifth Tour and join the exclusive club of five-time winners.”

Even if Thomas, not Froome, is the Tour’s and Ineos’ most recent winner, the stakes for Froome this summer were far higher - and all Thomas could expect, for now, was a joint share of the limelight.

Plan B

Chris Froome's absence leaves a huge power vacuum at the Tour de France © Getty (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Froome looked on track for a good Tour, too, as he had shown two days ago where he slugged it out with all the other contenders with the utmost confidence.

But now Ineos will forcibly be backing Thomas to win the Tour a second time, with Colombian team-mate Egan Bernal likely moving into a clearly defined ‘plan B’ role.

No-one can question Thomas' ability or motivation to win again. And it is not overexaggerating to say that even minus Froome, Ineos will still start the Tour as the most powerful all-round team and with strong options on the table. But there’s no getting away from the fact that their chances have shrunk considerably.

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Who will challenge Chris Froome at the 2017 Tour de France ? Chris Froome said after his third Tour de France win that he has been thinking about the Olympic time trial ‘for six months’ and has matured as a rider over the Team Sky show power of the pack is key to dominating Tour de France .

— Chris Froome (@ chrisfroome ) June 12, 2019. Froome ’ s absence from the Ineos squad will mean they will need to fully back defending champion Geraint Thomas to take a second consecutive title. Thomas is racing at the Tour de Suisse next week as final preparation for the Tour with Froome

More scrutiny on Thomas

Chris Froome's absence leaves a huge power vacuum at the Tour de France © Getty (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Thomas’ relative inexperience in winning Grand Tours compared to Froome - ‘just’ one victory to Froome’s six - is one reason. Another is the timehonoured cycling cliche that only one thing is harder to win the Tour once - it is to do it twice, when expectations and pressure are far higher. Yet another is that after seven years of a near-unbroken Sky/Ineos stranglehold on the Tour, Froome’s rivals will see 2019 as a long-awaited golden opportunity to capture the yellow jersey.

One final knock-on effect: Thomas’ performance in the upcoming Tour de Suisse - his final warm-up race - will be subject to much more intense scrutiny. Because for Thomas, for Ineos and for cycling in general, compared to 24 hours ago, he Tour is now looking like a very different ball game.

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