Froome sets sights on “big goal”

Chris FroomeLast year’s maillot jaune winner Chris Froome has admitted he has “more on his plate” at this year’s Tour de France but has set himself a big goal of defending his crown (Froome 10/11 – 2014 Tour de France outright).

The 2014 Tour de France begins in Leeds on Saturday and Froome enters the event as the defending champion. No cyclist has defended a Tour crown since Spaniard Miguel Indurain in 1995 but Froome (5/1 – 2014 King Of The Mountains) is the early favourite ahead of two-time winner Alberto Contador (7/4 – 2014 Tour de France outright) and Vincenzo Nibali (8/1).

The Kenyan-born Brit admits, however, it may be more difficult for him to win this year due to the off-track demands of defending champions.

“You definitely have a lot more on your plate after winning the Tour; time between races just slips away from you, you end up doing a lot more in terms of media commitments, sponsor commitments,” Froome said.

“Life definitely changes after winning the Tour and if anything that’s probably a bigger factor compared to being wiped out after winning one Tour de France.”

But the 29-year-old, in terrific form, insists he will be doing everything in his power to win the Grand Boucle again.

“For me that’s a big goal: to come back and win it again,” he added. “There’s no guarantee that’s going to be possible but I’m certainly going to try.”

Froome (4/11 – Top 3 Finish) began his 2014 season by winning the Tour of Oman and followed up the success with victory at the Tour de Romandie in May, where he won by 28 seconds ahead of Simon Spilak.

The 2013 Tour de France champion also finished second in 2012, behind Team Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins, who has not been included in the squad for this year’s Tour.

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