Chris Froome is hopeful that he can make his comeback in a criterion this calendar year. The Brit, who is still rehabilitating after his heavy fall in June, even dares to think of a fifth overall victory in the Tour de France.

"It would be great if I could play a few small races after the season," Froome says Friday in an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph . "Then I can mingle a bit with the pros again. I hope it will work before January."

34-year-old Froome made his first meters on a bicycle at the end of last month, although he still cannot walk without crutches. The repair of the fractures in his right thigh and right hip takes a long time, while he also broke an elbow, a cervical vertebra and some ribs when he fell.

"On the bike 20 to 30 percent of the power comes from my right leg and 70 to 80 percent from my left leg," says Froome.

In 2017 Chris Froome won the Tour de France for the fourth time. (Photo: Getty Images)

"I have to train harder than ever"

Froome emphasizes that his return in a small match is no more than an intermediate goal. He already said last month that participation in the Tour of 2020 is his motive, although he realizes that it will be tough to take the overall win for the fifth time.

"The bar is raised every year at the Tour and the differences are marginal," says Froome, who saw his young INEOS teammate Egan Bernal drive to Paris this summer.

"I will have to train harder than ever to come back and have a chance. A fifth Tour victory has always been a big deal for me and my fall has made it even bigger. Certainly because many people said my career was over . That just motivates me to return. "

Only one 35-year-old Tour winner

Incidentally, it would be very special not only because of his fall, but also because of his age if Froome actually managed to win the Tour for the fifth time - after Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain - .

Froome is 35 years old during the Tour of 2020. The only rider who still won at this age is the Belgian Firmin Lambot in the Tour of 1922. "History does not speak to my advantage," he realizes. "But I believe in the statement that age is a state of mind."

See also: The cycling calendar of 2019