Froome 'still wants' fifth Tour de France, but Sky have yellow jersey dilemma
Geraint Thomas's Tour de France victory has not dented Chris Froome's hopes of a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey, says Sky chief Dave Brailsford.
"He wants to win a fifth Tour, no doubt. He'll be back, it's a part of him and I think he can do it," Brailsford said.
Froome, a four-time winner, was hoping to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain on an elite list of five-time winners on Sunday.
Victory on the Champs Elysees would also have seen the Kenyan-born Briton claim a seventh Grand Tour title and become the first cyclist since deceased Italian Marco Pantani, in 1998, to win the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same calendar year.
Yet Froome's efforts in winning the Giro d'Italia last May, and his implication in a long-running anti-doping probe, appeared to become key factors as the normally unshakable 33-year-old's bid went from bad to worse.
Froome was only cleared to race by the International Cycling Union (UCI) days before the Tour, but nearly 10 months after an "adverse analytical finding" for salbutamol during his Tour of Spain victory in 2017, the fallout created plenty of controversies.
"And it definitely impacted the general atmosphere." Froome's Grand Tour success has invited detractors and fans alike from a sport known for scandal and disgrace.
- 'Great champion' -
Froome crashed twice in the opening nine stages, losing precious time to Thomas that, when it came to deciding Sky's leadership strategy ahead of key stages in the Pyrenees, would prove decisive.
After Thomas took possession of the yellow jersey with a mountaintop victory at La Rosiere on stage 11, the Welshman secured a stunning win atop Alpe d'Huez the next day.
From then on, Froome was virtually racing to make sure he would feature on the final podium on the Champs Elysees.
Brailsford praised Froome's readiness to become a 'domestique' for Thomas, a sign of "a great champion".
But he admitted Froome had come to win.
"He won the Giro, which was quite something," said Brailsford.
"But he came here to win, not to podium." He added: "The mark of a great champion is that he fully accepted becoming a team helper once he realized he wasn't going to win the Tour." Post-Tour, however, Sky could have a dilemma.
Froome still has another two years on his contract while Thomas has yet to re-sign with the British outfit.
"Naturally I've had a few emotions throughout this race," said Froome.
"Moments of disappointment, crashing, moments of joy, when we've won stages or taken the yellow jersey. That's bike racing. Like any Grand Tour, this has been a rollercoaster."
"It's not for a rider to make those decisions."
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)