Chris Froome early season derailed by knee problem: ‘It’s definitely a setback’

Leg and knee problems force four-time Tour de France champ off the bike and into rehab-mode, delaying his season start.

Photo: Getty Images

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Chris Froome‘s season has not gotten off to the start he would have liked.

Four-time Tour de France winner Froome explained in his latest YouTube video that he has had to pause his training after picking up problems in the tensor fascia latae and iliotibial band tissues running through the hip and knee that he shattered in 2019.

“For the last 10 days or so I’ve been getting quite a lot of pain on the outside of my leg and my knee while I’m pedaling. The scans have shown that I’ve damaged my TFL tendon, which is where the IT band connects to the side of the knee,” Froome said in a video released Sunday.

“Unfortunately I think getting back into training these past couple of weeks I might have been a little bit too keen, pushing on a little too much, and now this has flared up after a few weeks off the bike.

“Maybe the body wasn’t ready to push that hard. It’s flared up and caused a bit of inflammation. It’s quite sensitive.”

The news comes just as teams prepare for the start of the 2022 race season.

Competition in South America and Europe begins at the turn of this month before the WorldTour kick-starts at the UAE Tour in late February. Froome’s Israel Start-Up Nation squad is currently confirmed to be on the start line at season-openers Vuelta a San Juan and Volta a la Comunitat Valencia.

Also read: ISN remains bullish on Froome: ‘Hopefully he can come back to a new level’

Riding into the second year of an open-ended contract with the Israeli team, it’s unlikely that 36-year-old Froome will be making the early season racing after encountering another hurdle in his return to top shape.

“I have to take the best part of a week off the bike completely before starting very gradually without loading it for the best part of two to three weeks after that,” Froome said. “It’s definitely a setback for me. I’m not too sure where I’m going to start the racing season. This is definitely going to push everything back slightly.”

Froome has struggled to return to his previous highs since the career-threatening crash in 2019 which shattered his right femur and hip and left him on the sidelines for eight months.

He returned to the Tour de France last summer, the first time he’d started the race since he finished third behind Geraint Thomas in 2018. He made it through the full 21 stages of last summer’s race but finished more than four hours down on yellow jersey Tadej Pogacar.

Froome later revealed that he was fending off the fatigue caused by a return of bilharzia through his three weeks in France.

Also read: Froome hit with flare-up of parasitic worms in 2021

Despite his continuing struggles, Froome ended his latest medical update with typical resilient optimism.

“It’s unfortunate, but I’m going to have to make the best of it and keep working on things that I can work on off the bike,” he said. “I’ll make sure to do a lot of core work, strengthening muscles I can work on without stressing that tendon any further.”

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