LONDON (Reuters) – Chris Froome will be back on the UAE tour next month after tough training in the Canary Islands, the four-time Tour de France winner said on Wednesday.
The UAE Tour, the only WorldTour race in the Middle East, takes place from February 23 to 29.
Froome hasn’t driven since a terrible fall during Criterium du Dauphin training last June, leaving him in the intensive care unit with several fractures to his sternum, spine, thighs, elbows and ribs.
“I’m really looking forward to racing again on the UAE Tour,” said the Ineos team driver. “I’ve had a good training block in Gran Canaria and I’m looking forward to taking the next step in my recovery and returning to full strength.”
Kenya-born Brit Froome (34) needs another victory at the Tour de France to set the records of the greats Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
Team Ineos boss Dave Brailsford last week nominated reigning Colombian champion Egan Bernal and 2018 winner Geraint Thomas as likely co-leaders for the tour.
The UAE tour would be a useful indicator of Froome’s recovery and can boast a strong line-up this year, including 2018 world champion Alejandro Valverde, Froome’s new Ineos teammate Rohan Dennis and Giro d’Italia king of the mountains Giulio Ciccone.
Associated Slideshow: Chris Froomes Greatest Cycling Moments (provided by ReadSport)
British sprint king Mark Cavendish, who has won 30 stages of the Tour de France and is now competing for the Bahrain-McLaren brand outfit, will also take part, as will Italian road master Davide Formolo, Adam Yates, Wout Poels and Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editor by Ken Ferris)