Paris: Chris Froome says “it will be a huge relief just to be back in the peloton” next week in the UAE Tour, eight months after he suffered devastating injuries in a high-speed crash.
The four-time Tour de France winner fractured a thigh, elbow and vertebrae in the career-threatening accident during a Criterium du Dauphine practice ride in June last year.
After intensive rehab he is ready to take the next step towards trying to secure a record-equalling fifth Tour title in July.
“The year’s gone incredibly well so far but having said that I do still need to manage expectations,” he told his Team Ineos website on Friday.
“I’m still quite a way off where I was at the Dauphine before the crash. It’s going to take me a while to get back to that shape.”
The 34-year-old said a return to racing had been all he had thought about “for months now”.
“It will be a huge relief just to be back in the peloton again,” he said. “It feels like I’ve been given a second chance to come back to pro racing after a crash like that. I’m definitely not taking that for granted.”
The seven-day UAE Tour starts in Dubai on Sunday.