Three-time Tour De France winner. Olympic medallist. Survivor of a dramatic animal chase from when he lived in Kenya. We sat down with Chris Froome at Team Sky’s Majorcan training camp to get his thoughts on his past successes, the 2017 road cycling season and whether it’s worth provoking a hippo.
How has each Tour De France win felt? Has it been different?
Each one certainly felt really different for me. The first one stands out because it was the first time achieving something. But I wouldn’t say the other two have been any less special – each addition has been a separate journey and adventure, a different set of challenges to overcome along the way.
Which event are you most excited about in 2017?
One stage that I’m really looking forward to is the first uphill finish of the Tour, at the La Planche des Belles Filles. It’s where I won a stage of the Tour De France back in 2012. I’ve got some pretty cool memories from that day so I’m looking forward to going back there.
Are you always thinking about how to get more watts out of your bike?
I think it’s fair to say that a cleaner bike goes faster, so a big part of getting those marginal gains is to make sure you have a clean drivetrain. You don’t want any extra friction down there.
What’s the dirtiest bike ride you have ever had to do?
Mountain biking can get really filthy, but that’s what it’s all about. On the road, I’d have to say a stage of the Giro D’Italia. I remember doing some of the roads of the Strada Bianchi in the rain back in 2008 or 09 – that was messy.
What’s harder – being a dad or having trained to be three times Tour De France winner?
It’s a combination of both. It’s been amazing being a father. An experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s given me a lot of energy, a lot of motivation, a lot more meaning. But it certainly also has its challenges.
Finally, we heard that you got charged by a hippo when you lived in Kenya. What was that like?
It’s pretty scary. Not something that I’d recommend.