Froome's rivals hurt by time trials and tribulations

Briton Chris Froome wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey while training ahead of the 22.5km individual time trial around Marseille. He won the 20th stage of the Tour de France to all but wrap up his fourth title.
Briton Chris Froome wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey while training ahead of the 22.5km individual time trial around Marseille. He won the 20th stage of the Tour de France to all but wrap up his fourth title.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MARSEILLE (France) • Chris Froome's rivals would be well advised to work on their time trialling abilities if they want to win the Tour de France while the Briton is still dominating, according to three-time champion Greg LeMond.

The Team Sky rider all but wrapped up a fourth title over the weekend after beating Rigoberto Uran and Romain Bardet comprehensively in Saturday's final solo effort against the clock, having already started with an advantage after the opening time trial in Dusseldorf, Germany.

"If you look at the riders behind Chris Froome, none of them is a time triallist. He does not have a lot of competition when it comes to time trials," LeMond, on the Tour as an analyst for Eurosport, said in his daily review with Reuters. "If you look at the top 10, most of them are never going to become time triallists unless they work on it, so most of them will never win the Tour."

Uran, second overall, lost 25 seconds to Froome over 22.5km on Saturday and Bardet lost a massive one minute and 57 seconds.

"You need a guy like Tom Dumoulin," LeMond added of the Dutchman, an excellent time triallist who won the Giro d'Italia this year but skipped the Tour.

"Dumoulin is the guy who needs to challenge Froome. I don't see anybody right now who is going to be that challenger."

Meanwhile, British Cycling hopes it has made sure of securing at least £40 million (S$70.8 million) from national funding agency UK Sport after voting in reforms at an extraordinary general meeting on Saturday. Had it not accepted proposals to implement UK sports minister Tracey Crouch's call for increased diversity by October, British Cycling risked losing some £40 million of funding.

Now the proposals have been approved, with one amendment which would allow the 10 English regions to nominate a board member.

Julie Harrington, British Cycling's chief executive, said on Saturday: "Today, British Cycling's National Council voted in favour of changes to our constitution in order to ensure that we are compliant with the Code for Sports Governance.

"Without secured funding we will not be able to share our love of the sport and enable others to try it. Our sport is growing and growing up. Today's vote is the start of an exciting new chapter for British Cycling and our sport."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2017, with the headline 'Froome's rivals hurt by time trials and tribulations'. Print Edition | Subscribe