Chris Froome will make his comeback in the cycling squad next month. The four-time Tour de France winner takes part in the Criterium de Saitama, the organization of the Japanese race announced on Friday.
Froome suffered a crash in June during the exploration of a time trial of the Criterium du Dauphiné fractures in the thigh, hip, ribs, elbow and a cervical vertebra. Initially it was stated that he would no longer take action in 2019, but the 34-year-old Briton recovered faster than expected.
Two weeks ago, Froome already announced that he wanted to return in a small race this year. In August he was back on his bike for the first time after his heavy crash for a short training ride.
Due to his injuries, Froome missed the Tour de France this year. Next year he hopes to win the world's largest race for the fifth time.
"The bar is raised every year at the Tour and the differences are marginal," the 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 winner said recently. "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 that feeling even greater. Certainly because many people said my career was over. That just motivates me to return."
Only a 35-year-old rider ever won Tour de France
Because of his age it would also be very special if Froome managed to win the Tour for the fifth time as the fifth rider ever - 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 1922. "History does not speak to my advantage," Froome realizes. "But I believe in the statement that age is a state of mind."
The criterion in Japan takes place on October 27. Froome's INEOS teammate and Tour winner Egan Bernal will also appear at the start of the race.