“To win the Tour of the Alps would be a way to say a big thank you to Sky”. The 43rd Tour of the Alps (April 22-26) will be a special race for Team Sky and Sports Director Nicolas Portal. Next week, on the occasion of the euro-regional stage race, starting in Kufstein (Austria) on Monday April 22nd, an era that characterized a decade of cycling history will come to a close. In fact, Team Sky is about face the last stage race of its history under the current naming at the upcoming Tour of the Alps, led by its most representative rider, Brit Chris Froome. The Kenia-born champion will face Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) on the Euro-regional roads.
Team Sky has written important pages of Tour of the Alps’ and Giro del Trentino’s recent history, winning three straight editions in 2015 (Richie Porte), 2016 (Mikel Landa) and 2017 (Geraint Thomas), while lining up other outstanding names such as Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. Over the last few years, Sky’s ambitions for the Giro d’Italia have constantly passed through the Tour of the Alps. In 2018, Froome chose the race organized by GS Alto Garda to find the optimal condition to conquer his first Giro d’Italia and clinch the “triple crown”.
“I’m pleased to be returning to the Tour of the Alps this year – Froome explains. – I really enjoyed the race in 2018 and it was a big boost for me heading into the Giro d’Italia. It’s exactly the type of racing I need at this point in my year. The Tour of the Alps is a tough, punchy race which will be a good test of where I’m at. I’m looking forward to getting going.”
Sky’s Sports Director Nicolas Portal has echoed Froome’s statement. “The Tour of the Alps is really well organised and it’s a beautiful race. The stages are hard and it will be great for Chris at this time in the season. Chris used the race, last year, to push himself and work hard for the Giro. He liked how the race went, the quality of race, and now he knows it will be good for his buildup to the Tour de France”.
After finishing overall fourth last year, exhibiting an aggressive racing approach that would end up being decisive at the Giro d’Italia, Froome is ready to be in the front line again at the Tour of the Alps, supported by a strong line-up.
Froome will count on experienced Kenny Elissonde and David De La Cruz, talented prospects Teo Geoghegan Hart and Pavel Sivakov, winner of the 2017 Under 23 Giro d’Italia, and on an Italian unit, formed by Salvatore Puccio and Leonardo Basso. “Chris is on track. We decided to support him with a strong squad: we’ve got riders who are looking towards the next couple of months and some guys who are looking at the Giro d’Italia. Our last stage race as Team Sky is of course a special one. We will want to shine”.
Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali will be the stars of the eve’s press conference on Sunday April 21st at 4.30PM CET in Kufstein (Kultur Quartier Kufstein), before the public Teams Presentation at 5.30 PM CET in Oberer Stadtplatz.