Sir Chris Hoy has run out of superlatives to describe Chris Froome’s exploits over the past few years and expects the Brit to win a third Tour de France this year.
Froome is currently competing in the 21-stage race, attempting to hold on to the iconic yellow jersey for the third time following his 2013 and 2015 successes.
If the Team Sky star is successful, he will become just the eighth man in history to win Le Tour on at least three occasions and, following Sir Bradley Wiggins’ triumph in 2012, would be a fourth British victory in five years.
And Hoy – who is Britain’s most successful Olympian with six gold medals – believes Froome has the guile to stay out of trouble early on before attacking when the road ramps up.
“You kind of run out of superlatives talking about Chris Froome’s performances in the Tour over the past few years,” the 40-year-old said.
“To become a three-time winner of the Tour de France would be amazing.
“At the start it was a case of getting through each stage, staying safe, staying out of trouble and look to try and do some damage to his rivals in the mountains and the time trials and take it from there.
“You can lose a lot of time in the first week but if all is on an even keel after the first week I would say that you’ve got to be looking at Froome to win it.
“He seems to be quite relaxed, quite confident, was happy with his preparations leading up to the Tour, so I’d love to see him win again.
“I think all the British fans are hoping for that. But, it’s a long way, there’s a lot can happen in the two-and-a-half weeks.”
The 11-time world champion was speaking at Six Day London’s ‘Inside Track with Chris Hoy’ event this week in London.
Six Day London, which was launched in 2015, sees some of the world’s best cyclists competing over the course of six nights at the Lee Valley VeloPark in a party-like atmosphere.
And like so many others, Hoy has been enchanted by the magic of Six Day.
“The Six Day in London was a great way to introduce new people to the sport,” added Hoy. “Some fans had never seen track cycling live before and turned up there for the first time.
“It’s the marriage of sport and entertainment in one. It’s not like a World Cup or a World Championships, where it’s all about the race and it can be sometimes a little bit dry because there are big gaps between the racing.
“At Six Day London they’re racing non-stop and there’s music, entertainment, food and drink going on at the same time. It’s more of a carnival atmosphere and that’s really what the fans enjoy.
“They get the best of both worlds. They get a night out but they also get some world-class cycling to watch as well.”
Six Day London takes place between 25-30 October 2016 at Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Half term fun, with or without the kids. Tickets on sale now at www.sixday.com