27 April 2020

Two-time Tour de France winner Contador believes delay to 2020 edition 'a huge plus' for Froome

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador believes the postponement of this year's Tour de France gives Britain's Chris Froome an even better chance of securing a fifth title.

Froome missed last year's edition of the Tour because of a severe crash at the Criterium du Dauphine, but will have even more time to prepare for the 2020 race as it has been pushed back from June to the end of August due to the coronavirus.

And Contador, who won the Tour in 2007 and 2009 and was subsequently stripped of a third victory in 2010 due to a doping offence, believes the postponement plays into the four-time winner's hands.

In an exclusive interview with Cycling News, he said: "Now everybody’s got to get through this lockdown, everybody’s starting from scratch and they are in the same place as Froome, when it comes to their physical condition. By August, he’ll have made up on that lost ground.

"When a rider like Froome gets to the starting line, a rider who’s so motivated to go for a fifth Tour, who’s so keen to go on proving he’s still the same racer as he was before his crash and who’s also going to be so hungry to compete because he’ll have been longer off the bike than almost anybody, then all of that constitutes a huge plus in Froome’s favour.

"That’s why I consider he’s going to be one of the top contenders in the Tour de France and why he’s perfectly capable of winning his fifth."

Froome has not won the Tour since 2017 when he clinched a third successive title and went on to hold all three Grand Tours at the same time after victories at the 2017 Vuelta Espana and 2018 Giro d'Italia.

The Brit, who rides for Team Ineos, was beaten by teammate Geraint Thomas at the 2018 edition of the Tour and then had to watch another of his team secure 2019 title as young Colombian Egan Bernal claimed cycling's biggest prize.

It remains to be seen who will be Ineos' leader for the 2020 Tour as they head into the race with three former winners on their books.

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