Chris Froome sets new date for debut with Israel Start-Up Nation, in Dubai
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Chris Froome sets new date for debut with Israel Start-Up Nation, in Dubai

Four-time Tour de France winner was previously due to start his season at an event in Argentina this month, but will now wait until late February

Chris Froome  (Credit: Brian Hodes/Velo Images)
Chris Froome (Credit: Brian Hodes/Velo Images)

Chris Froome now plans to make his Israel Start-Up Nation debut at the UAE Tour next month.

The 35-year-old was previously due to begin his season at the Vuelta a San Juan but the Argentinian race, scheduled for next week, has been called off amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead Froome will head to the United Arab Emirates for his first race since leaving the Ineos Grenadiers this winter.

The UAE Tour is scheduled to take place from February 21 to 27 and is the first WorldTour event on the calendar.

Adam Yates, who won last year’s shortened race for Mitchelton-Scott, will return to the race after making his move to Ineos, with the field of general classification hopefuls headlined by Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar.

Irishman Sam Bennett is due to line up for Deceuninck-QuickStep to contest the sprints.

Froome had been considering starting his season at the Volta ao Algarve but the Portuguese race, scheduled for February 17-21, has also been postponed.

Froome has spent the winter training in California, continuing to rehab the injuries from his horror crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine at the Red Bull High Performance Center in Santa Monica.

The four-time Tour de France winner revealed he had continued to feel pain throughout last season and discovered that, after having two screws removed from his leg at the end of the year, he had a 20 per cent strength deficit on his right side which he has since worked to address.

Froome also began his 2020 season at the UAE race, though the event was cut short due to suspected cases of coronavirus within the race bubble, with all riders quarantined in the race hotel and tested before being allowed to leave.

 

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