London (AFP)

His heavy fall has not been the reason for his determination: he is absent from the Tour de France this year, and Christopher Froome intends to come back in 2020 to get a fifth title on the Great Loop.

While his young teammate at Ineos Egan Bernal became last Sunday the first Colombian in yellow on the Champs Elysees, the 34-year-old British rider was recovering from his heavy crash on June 12 during the time trial Critérium du Dauphiné in France.

Operated multiple fractures, the femur and right elbow and ribs, the Kenyan-born runner is formal: it could have been much worse, he said during the first interview since the accident, carried out by his team.

"I'm ahead of all the predictions made initially about the time of recovery," he said.

"The news from the surgeon, when he told me that I could recover completely and that nothing prevented me, that's all I wanted to hear at that time."

"Since then, everything is positive, and I was very lucky not to be hurt more seriously," said Froome, who also has three more great rounds (two Vuelta and one Giro) on his hunting board.

"For me, the fundamental goal is to reach the starting line in 2020 and be in a similar or better position than I was this year, which is what motivates me today."

In case of return to the highest level, Chris Froome will compete in Ineos for leadership with Bernal and Geraint Thomas, winner of the 2018 Tour.

The Brit has also returned to his fall. Lying on the ground, immobile, after hitting a wall at a speed of about 60 km / h, he recalls asking two things to his staff, gathered around him: "Can I get back on my bike? " and "Will I be able to go on the Tour de France?"

Worn by a wave of sympathy for him, by a number of "incredible" messages, Froome is determined to return to the Tour, win it as in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and thus equal the record of five final wins , held by several legends of cycling: Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

© 2019 AFP