Chris Froome felt disappointed with his and Great Britain’s ride today in the World Championships. In Florence’s pouring rain, the entire team abandoned.
“It’s a big disappointment, especially after trying so hard coming into it and making it a big objective,” Froome told journalists including Cycling Weekly. “It would’ve been fantastic to finish off the season with a result here. With the condition, it wasn’t to be…”
The rain started early this morning around 7:00 and only became heavier as the race made its way from Lucca to Florence. Once the first of the 10 circuits around Florence’s north began, riders started pulling out.
Rain and crashes marked the day but the Tour de France champion made no excuses. Froome added, “The conditions are the same for everyone, so we have no excuse.”
Froome called it “game over” about 170 kilometres into the 272.26-kilometre race, the wettest one since Valkenburg in 1998 or Oslo in 1993. He wanted to race all day but heard the splits and felt isolated.
“The first three laps, or even before the circuits, there were crashes everywhere,” he said with rain falling and thunder sounding outside the Sky bus. “It’s just the weather today, it’s been raining solidly, all the drains are flooding, at some points on the road we were that deep in water.
“It was what caused most of the crashes, people trying to move up on the sides and just getting stuck in the gutters and things… After three laps, I looked around, I saw I didn’t have any team-mates with me and thought, this isn’t happening today.”
The morning started in the worst ways. The Sunday Times reported that the UCI, cycling’s governing body, is investigating Sky’s Jonathan Tiernan-Locke due to biological passport abnormalities. He was originally due to race but pulled out on Thursday, citing bad form.
“I heard about it the first thing this morning also,” said Froome. “I don’t want to comment until I know all the details. Obviously, it’s a shock to all of us.”