Froome labels season a ‘write off’ after more bad news

It hasn’t been the best of years for Chris Froome, having crashed out of the Tour de France on stage five, his teammate Christian Knees has withdrawn from the Vuelta a Espana.

As a result, Froome has been left with seven support riders to embark on the pursuit of leader Alberto Contador, in the closing stages.

Rigoberto Uran, a former teammate of Froome’s, has also pulled out, after the Colombian rider suffered with asthmatic problems.

“We were hoping that the rest day could help, but in the last 24 hours the situation has become even worse,” said Uran. “You can’t race in these conditions. I’m really disappointed but this really is the wisest decision.

“The team and I have agreed that I’ll be in Belgium next week to get a better picture of the nature of this problem,” Uran continued.

“Now the objective is to try to recover in time for the world championships and be useful to the team for the world championship team time trial that will open the rainbow series. Fundamentally I’m in good shape so I’d really like to be there.

“Of course, my participation will depend on what the test results say these next few days. The team and I don’t want to take any risks in the end of the season if the bronchial problems should continue.”

Froome, however, has labelled this season a ‘write off’ after an uncharacteristic campaign.

“Initially when it happened I felt like I could write the season off,” said Froome following his crash at the Tour.

“It was really tough. [I thought] That’s probably my season done and then after a week of sitting on my arse in the house I thought ‘oh, I can get something out of the season’, even if it’s only for next season.

“It’s been pretty hard coming to this Vuelta and racing when I’m not 100 per cent, but I really think it will give me lots of base work for next season,” Froome continued, who is 2/1 to win the next Tour de France.