Chris Froome (Sky) likes what he sees after inspecting the world championship route Friday in Italy’s Tuscany region.
The reigning Tour de France champion rode the elite men’s road course and came away satisfied that it’s a route that could suit his climbing skills.
“The world championship circuits in Tuscany are suitable for many types of cyclists,” Froome said on the worlds website. “It’s a race which I would love to arrive at with my best condition and try my luck.”
After cooling down from his Tour victory, Froome took advantage of a visit last week to Italy to inspect the worlds circuit for the first time.
The elite men’s worlds race, set for September 29, is held on a 272-kilometer course, with the opening 106.6km from Lucca to Florence. The remainder of the route features 10 laps on a demanding 16.6km circuit in the Tuscan hills. The total relief is 3,373 meters, with nearly 3,000 meters on the final circuit that features three climbs.
The circuit features two climbs, with the Fiesole climb at 4.37km at 5.2 percent; and the Salviati climb, 600 meters at 10.2 percent, which tops out at 5km to go.
Froome has already targeted the road worlds as his top late-season goal.
“Winning the yellow and rainbow jerseys would be an incredible double,” Froome said after the Tour last month. “I would like to make the worlds the focus for the second part of my season, and use that as motivation to keep my form up in the races that come before it.”
Following his Tour victory, he was optimistic about the worlds favoring his style of racing, but those hopes seemed to have tempered after inspecting the course for the first time.
“The worlds course this year a beautiful circuit which opens the race to many possible outcomes,” Froome said Friday. “It could be one for the top climbers, puncheurs, or breakaway specialists. It’s hard to imagine what scenario to expect on the day.”
It’s not yet confirmed if Froome will challenge for the world time trial title as well.
Compatriot and professional teammate Sir Bradley Wiggins has already singled out the time trial as his late-season priority, and if Froome would race the TT as well, it would put the pair on a collision course at the worlds.
Last summer, Wiggins won the Olympic gold medal in the men’s time trial, with Froome taking bronze, but later passed on a shot at the world title.
Froome will return to racing at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado (August 19-25).