Chris Froome is not happy that he drove in the service of teammate Egan Bernal during the tough third stage of the Route d'Occitanie on Monday. The four-time Tour de France winner emphasizes that the proportions in the Pyrenean race do not have to precede the rest of the season.
"I look at it every week and try to improve. The Tour is only a month away and a lot can change before then," said Froome, who was five minutes behind. He finished 34th.
Froome saw Bernal win the stage and take the leader's jersey. Pavel Sivakov completed the party for Team INEOS by finishing second in the queen stage.
"The team has done well from the start and it is very special that we finished first and second. Egan and Pawel are in great shape and it was nice to help them," said Froome.
The 35-year-old Briton, because of the environment, was reminiscent of the INEOS team leader Nicolas Portal, who died of a heart attack earlier this year. "There were many things that reminded me of him. We spent hours together on these roads. It was a special day."
Froome, who will ride for Israel Start-Up Nation next year, hopes to go for his fifth Tour victory this year. However, it is quite possible that the Team INEOS will assign the role of leader to defending champion Bernal.
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