Chris Froome (Sky) sent an early message to his rivals with an attack in yesterday’s Tour de France stage in Ajaccio, Corsica.
“No message intended,” Froome said, “but if they want to take something from it, then it’s up to them.”
Froome warmed down on his trainer with the sea and the rest of France at his back. Tonight, the race travels to Nice, the mainland, for the remainder of the Grand Tour. On the tricky Corsican roads, however, Froome left his mark.
Sky put Froome at the front of the small climbs through the Island’s inland, including up Côte du Salario. Over the top, with just 12km to race, Froome shot free.
“It was just as much to stay out of trouble, that descent was quiet steep and gnarly,” Froome continued.
“I thought it won’t be a bad thing to be in the front of the bunch going down there, especially if anything were to happen, such as crashes or anything. It’d just be a safe place to be.”
Team-mate Richie Porte told the Sydney Morning Herald that the team previewed that final climb after they won the Critérium International in March. Froome knew what to expect.
“And who knows,” added Froome, “what happens when you put other teams on the back foot.”
Rival Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) already crashed and lost time, though re-awarded, in the first stage on Saturday. Froome knows anything can happen.
“I’m very pleased, especially after [stage one] and a few injuries,” Froome said. “Guys like Vasil Kiryienka did a fantastic job coming into the final and Richie on the last climb… he’s in great condition at the moment.”
The races faces another technical day today, from Ajaccio to Calvi, 145.5 kilometres.
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