Chris Froome (Israel–Premier Tech) is keen to make the most of the Tour of Rwanda despite not having any ambition to win it.
The 37-year-old veteran is aiming to compete at the Tour de France this summer, and for now he is in 21st in the General Classification in Rwanda.
He has shown flashes of his talent, endurance and competitiveness while in Africa though, and on stage 5, which runs for almost 200 km and is littered with climbs, he put on an impressive breakaway that nobody else could match.
Froome has yet to win an event since the 2018 Giro d’Italia after troubles with injury and the Coronavirus pandemic, but he appeared on course for success in Rwanda only to have a puncture hold him back, as the peloton reabsorbed him before then suffering a crash.
Callum Ormiston (Global 6 Cycling) would go on to take victory.
Froome had said before the racing that he was building for later events.
“I’m going to keep fighting every day,” he said. “Even just to be here, to be racing and pushing is good for the next races, for the preparation
“I’m really happy to be here. I’m realistic – I’m not going to be winning this Tour of Rwanda because I’m not in the top shape to win the races yet. My big target will be in July for the Tour de France so now I start my preparation for July.”
Froome has also taken the chance to witness the “Field of Dreams” centre which boasts a pump track and race track, located in Bugesera district, Eastern Province of Rwanda and will be used by Rwandan National Cycling Federation Body (FERWACY) and the nearby community in future.
“Witnessing the joy on the kids’ faces while they rode felt like a great victory,” Froome said at the inauguration. “It is a game-changer project.”