Paris (AFP)

Britain's Chris Froome, four-time Tour winner but barely after a serious accident two years ago, will return to the Tour de France this summer, his Israel Start-Up Nation team announced on Tuesday.

"Chris will be our road captain on the Tour de France this year. As a four-time Tour winner, the importance of his experience cannot be underestimated. It will be extremely useful for the team during the race," said his manager Rik Verbrugghe declared on the team's website.

Froome, 36, won the Tour de France four times between 2013 and 2017 but has not appeared on the Big Loop since his serious fall on the Dauphiné in June 2019 which left him crippled with fractures (cervical vertebra, femur, hip, elbow, ribs ...).

"After two years away from the Tour de France, I can't wait to come back. It's been a tough road since my accident on the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2019, but it was one of my biggest motivations," Froome responded.

"I have worked tirelessly to get to where I am, and although my ambitions this year will not be that of a leader, I hope to bring my experience as a road captain. We have great chances with Michael Woods , and I can't wait to give my all for him and the team, ”he added.

Froome left the Ineos team at the end of last year to sign for Israel SN, but the Briton is struggling to regain his level and past performances.

Professional since 2007 and present at the highest level in the world since 2010, he is one of the seven riders in history to have won the three big tours (Giro, Tour, Vuelta).

The Tour de France starts on June 26 in Brest.

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