Cycling: Froome considering skipping 2015 Tour de France

PARIS (AFP) - Chris Froome has said he may skip the 2015 Tour de France because the course, which was revealed in Paris on Wednesday, doesn't suit him.

Speaking on his personal website the 2013 champion said he may focus on the Giro d'Italia instead as it is a more "balanced" route whereas the Tour is aimed predominantly at climbers.

"The team (Sky) and I will have to give it some careful consideration before we make any commitments to which of the grand tours I will compete in," he said.

"Next year's Tour is going to be about the mountains. There's very little emphasis on time-trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains.

"With six mountain-top finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race.

"I see myself as quite a balanced GC (general classification) rider and the Giro with it's inclusion of a long TT (time-trial) of 60km and tough uphill finishes will make it a well balanced race which suits me well.

"If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta (a Espana) and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win."

Reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali gave short shrift to the idea that Froome might not take part, telling reporters in Paris that he expected a big battle with the Kenyan-born Englishman, as well as Spanish Vuelta champion Alberto Contador and Colombian Giro winner Nairo Quintana.

"I don't think a Tour de France can be easier for me (even if Froome doesn't compete)," he said. "Froome is certainly a great rider and next year he'll sure be trying to do a great Tour, and that will make it top draw. This year he was very unlucky (crashing out).

"It's difficult to say who the favourites are, we'll see throughout the season with the preparation and how everyone arrives at the Tour.

"But the favourites for sure are Froome, Contador and Quintana; it will be a battle."

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