International Cycling

Froome expects tough defence of Australia tour

2017-01-31 10:14
chris froome
Chris Froome (Getty Images)

Sydney - Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome said on Tuesday he expected this year's Herald Sun Tour to be "even more competitive" and a tough battle against local and international challengers.

The defending Herald Sun Tour champion - who is launching his 2017 season in Australia - said last year's Giro d'Italia runner-up Esteban Chaves (ORICA-Scott) and others were in "great shape".

"This year's going to be even more competitive with the likes of Chaves here," Froome (Team Sky) said ahead of the tour prologue on Wednesday.

"Last year I saw that the level of racing here in Australia's really high for the local level and I think that there are more and more guys who wouldn't necessarily be on our radars who we're racing against here," the 31-year-old Briton added.

Local star Simon Gerrans (ORS), who was second in Sunday's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and has won the Herald Sun twice, said his major objective was to win the overall tour for the team.

"There are a couple of stages, possibly the one after Falls Creek that I think I can be a real contender for but the big objective this week is to win the overall," he said.

"If stage one goes well and we've got Esteban right up there hopefully we'll be defending a lead from there on.

"Esteban's looking really good. We've seen him perform well already on courses which really don't suit his capabilities down to the ground.

"Once we get up in the big mountains, up in the Victorian Alps we'll see Esteban come into his own."

Colombian Chaves, 27, had a break-out 2016 season. Apart from the Giro d'Italia, he was third at the Vuelta a Espana and winner of Italian "Monument" race Il Lombardia.

The Herald Sun tour includes a prologue and four stages in Victoria state from Wednesday to Sunday.

Read more on:    chris froome  |  cycling
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.