Ian Boswell joined Chris Froome during an early-season training block in South Africa and said it was an 'eye opening' experience
The 25-year-old American joined Froome in the Mpumalanga region for a couple of weeks of intense training after the duo took part in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Herald Sun Tour – won by Froome – in Australia. The region has plenty of high mountains and testing terrain.
“It’s probably the biggest training block I’ve ever done with Chris and it was eye-opening to see how hard he works, how much he trains, and how much he suffers as well,” Boswell said in a blog written for the Team Sky website.
“He was cool to hang out with and he really pushed me in training. There were a few days where I was right on the limit and pretty darn tired.”
Boswell and Froome were joined by Sky mechanic Gary Blem and soigneur David Rozman during the trip, which Boswell said he enjoyed so much, he didn’t want to leave.
“That was the first time I’d ever been to the African continent and it was totally different from anywhere I’d visited before,” said Boswell. “It’s a beautiful country and where we stayed was absolutely stunning.
“It was great being with Gary Blem and David Rozman as well. Living like that you really get to know each other, and I was actually a little sad coming back to Europe.”
“I’ve been training really hard, but that’s totally different from racing,” said Boswell. “Sometimes you can come back and be surprised at how hard it is, and other times you can be surprised at how fit you are. It’s going to be interesting to see where I’m at compared to the guys who’ve been racing in Europe for the last few months.”
Watch: Racing news interview – Chris Froome
Froome has elected to miss the French stage race to put in some more training miles. He will start racing again at Volta a Catalunya on March 21.
Boswell will then focus on the Giro d’Italia in May, as Froome looks further ahead to defending his Tour de France title in July and then participating in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.
Froome was born in Kenya, and now returns to the African continent from Europe to train prior to the start of the season. Last year, he was accompanied by Dutchman Wout Poels.