Chris Froome will begin next year’s season in Australia competing in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour.
Froome has now committed to racing in the UCI World Tour’s one-day Cadel Evans race on January 29 before going on to defend his Herald Sun Tour title from February 1 – 5.
However, he has decided against taking part in the Tour Down Under which is longer and starts earlier than the other two races on January 17.
Speaking about the start of the season Froome said, “I love riding in Australia. The weather is great and the crowds always come out in force to support the riders. That makes it all the more enjoyable. It’s always tough racing and a really strong, competitive field – so it’s an ideal way for me to kick off my year. I took a similar approach last year and felt it was a great way to set up my season.”
Froome won this year’s Herald Sun tour beating fellow Briton Peter Kennaugh who took the 2016 Cadel Evans title.
In the coming season Froome will be facing tough competition from Orica-BikeExchange’s star Colombian rider Esteban Chaves who has also confirmed he will be taking part in the Herald Sun Tour.
Chaves had an excellent last season finishing second in the Giro d’Italia, third in the Vuelta a Espana and winning the Italian ‘Monument’ race Il Lombardia.
Speaking about his competition with Froome Chaves said, “He is obviously happy with how he did last season in winning the Herald Sun Tour and then winning the Tour de France, so maybe we can copy that. I have started training early, which is new for me. But the important thing is I’m super motivated, I’m happy to do it and I’ll go 100 per cent.”