Team Sky's Chris Froome says his decision not to race the Tour Down Under was based on his training plans, family and season's goals

Chris Froome says his decision not to ride the Tour Down Under, despite landing in Australia, was not a snub to the race, insisting his schedule was down to his training, his family and his season’s goals.

Froome touched down in Adelaide on Monday for a training block with Team Sky coach Tim Kerrison, before starting his season at the Herald Sun Tour on February 2.

The two-time Tour de France winner rejected accusations that he didn’t race the Tour Down Under because a fee wasn’t reached with the organisers, instead saying he just wanted to continue his longstanding habits for preparing for the season.

We spoke to Chris Froome ahead of the 2016 season

“It’s definitely nothing against Down Under, but for the last five years I’ve only started racing in February and just at the moment I haven’t seen any reason to change that,” Froome told Australia’s News Corp.

“It wasn’t that I was specifically trying to avoid coming to Down Under or anything, but how it fitted in with my program at home.

“I’ve just had a little boy (Kellan, born in December) and I’ve been on a training camp already, if I was to come to Down Under it would have meant a lot of time away before my boy was even a month old.

“So at least this way I got an extra week at home before coming down here and that’s made it a lot easier.”

UCI president Brian Cookson said Froome’s absence yet presence in Australia was ‘puzzling’, but the rider tweeted that he himself was puzzled by the apparent bewilderment caused by his decision.

The Herald Sun Tour starts on February 2 with a short time trial through the heart of Melbourne.

  • Common Wombat

    Oh what scintillating repartee, Henry !! No, I’m not Jay Weatherill, I’m from Sydney and have never lived in Sth Australia
    Notable you chose to ladle on the attempted witticisms rather than address the realities. Unless AUS ever got itself a Grand Tour, which ain’t ever gunna happen, its just not practicable to take stages of a one week tour from one state to another.
    As for another state “buying the rights”, one hopes that doesn’t happen. Its hit a good balance where it is; Lord knows what the “Fun Police”in a certain state (one that loves throwing taxpayers money on one circus after another) would do to it !

  • Henry loggins

    Lol. Is this secretly Jay Weatherill, getting worried that his state will loose another event to the east coast. All good Jay I know you guys own it so it’s not going anywhere. It’s a great event wherever it is. Cheers for the hate.

  • Common Wombat

    Moving to February will mean far less public support due to January being school holidays.
    You clearly have little knowledge of AUS with your suggestion to “share it around the nation”. We are talking about a one week tour not a Grand Tour and we are taking 1000km transfers if you are talking interstate stages (we are talking race infrastructure as well as teams/riders). These transfers would dwarf those seen in the GTs and the costs involved don’t bear thinking about !
    People suggest the Snowy Mountains in NSW or Victorian Alps. Neither of these are practicable due to the amount of additional travel given their remoteness from major centres/airports.

  • Henry loggins

    Move the tdu to February and share it around the nation so there are some proper climbs and maybe you might attract some of the higher profile gc guys.

  • J1

    Oh he went there.

  • Tim

    The UCI is partly to blame, Oleg Tinkov, has been campaigning about this for the last 3 years. The way the races are organised during the season doesn’t give the riders an incentive to ride each race. Froome is targeting the Tour, why would he shed weight and peak too early so he can win this one? It would be even worse if he just rode it without training and put out a average performance. Just goes to show Brian Cookson, along with the UCI are in cuckoo land.

  • Patrick Murphy

    He won’t lose to Porte on any hill that matters.

  • ȷack Dennisσn

    Didn’t want to lose to Porte on Willunga Hill

  • Mike Prytherch

    This is ridiculous, should he have to explain every single race he doesn’t ride it, this has been caused by Cookson who should shut the F UP on these matters.