Chris Froome could take part in the Tour de Yorkshire as part of a much-changed preparation for his bid to win a fifth Tour de France.
Froome confirmed on New Year’s Day that he would not be defending his crown at the Giro d’Italia to focus on winning in France, where he has another chance to equal the all-time record of five titles.
Last year Froome based his early season on preparations for Giro in May, but 12 months on he could be riding the roads of Yorkshire [May 2-5] a week before the season’s first Grand Tour gets under way.
“Later in the year I’ve potentially got the Tour de Yorkshire on my programme,” Froome said.
“I’d love to race more in the UK. Yorkshire hosted the start of the Tour de France a few years ago and the atmosphere was just incredible. The race has been growing year-on-year and I’d love to get out there next year as well.
“My race programme is going to be a little different. I’ll be starting off the year over in Colombia for a bit of a change.
“We’ll go and do a training camp out there up at altitude too, before going on to the UAE Tour.
“They are two races that I’ve never done before but I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into. It’s nice to go for something that’s not the same, year-in, year-out. I’m looking forward to those two events.”
Froome lost out at the Tour last year to team-mate Geraint Thomas, who will also focus on defending his title in July.
Thomas is planning a similar route to the Tour this year but could participate in all three Ardennes Classics – Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Amstel Gold and Fleche Wallonne.
“I really enjoyed Liege when I rode it for the first time last year, so I’d like to go back,” he added.
“I’ll maybe do all three of the Ardennes races – it’s still a bit up in the air. I’d like a slightly different approach to that week, maybe end up doing the Tour of the Basque Country – just mix it up a bit really.
“I’m looking forward to doing some big races. I definitely want to go back to Liege and will maybe do Amstel and Fleche as well. We’ll see.”