2016 is a big one for Chris Froome. Not only is he the favourite to win the Tour de France, which would be his third Tour de France Title (and second in a row), but he has also hinted at the desire to win the Gold in Rio at the Olympic Games for both road and time trial races this year. This would make him the first rider in the history of the Games to win both road and time trial titles, termed “Road Cycling’s Lord of the Olympic Rings”. Winning all three titles would rank as one of the finest achievements by any British Sportsman or woman.
To begin with, let’s have a look at Froomes chances of claiming the Tour de France title. On paper he has the strongest team behind him; Geraint Thomas, Sergio Henao, Mikel Landa, Vasil Kiryienka, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard. But it will not be plain sailing for Team Sky. With the likes of Nairo Quinatana and Team Movistar, Alberto Contador and Team Tinkoff-Saxo, Vincenzo Nibala and Team Astana as well as Richie Port with Team BMC Racing hot on their heels, they most certainly have their work cut out for them.
Experts say that this year’s Tour de France course is made up of the perfect stages for Froomes style, where he has a shot at joining the all-time British cycling greats with another Maillot Jaune. However Quintana is most certainly edging closer to the title as three years ago he was 4min, 20sec down and last year the gap had closed to just over a minute. The final week of last years Tour de France was where Froome had to hang on for dear life to the yellow jersey as Quintana’s team persistently attacked. In the end he made it but it was no easy feat.
Rio has very similar routes, perfect for Froome and perhaps why he hinted at his plans for a trilogy to the press. Froome tested out the Rio course in 2015 and in an interview said “When I rode Rio and looked at the Olympic time trial course I just thought, this is fantastic, if there’s a one-day course I could win, it would look something like this’.” (The Telegraph UK)
Fast forward to the British Olympic Team. 26 riders are heading to Rio de Janeiro including gold-medallist, Laura Trott and sprint great Mark Cavendish. Froome will be leading the road race while Bradley Wiggins is aiming for an 8th Olympic medal on the track. Froome would need to beat Wiggens in the time trial (whom he lost to in London 2012) and win the road race to complete his 2016 hat-trick. The road race seems to be achievable in the mind of the African-born-Brit even though he has never actually won a one-day race before.
Can Froome manage all three this year and become one of Britain’s most historic sportsmen?
Current betting odds for Froome to win Tour de France are 11/10
Place your Tour de France bets here.
Stay tuned for Rio Olympic Games Cycling Betting odds.