It’s a feat that’s only been accomplished once before.
At the London games in 2012, Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first person to win both the Tour de France and the Olympic gold in the same year. Britain’s Chris Froome looks to match Wiggins this year in Rio.
Froome won his third Tour de France in July and now he’s one of the favorites to win the men’s time trial. He’ll try his hand at the road race as well.
When Wiggins was asked if Froome could win the gold just weeks after the Tour, he was confident in his fellow countryman.
“He can do it definitely,” said Wiggins. “The way he won the Tour, that’s not going to go anywhere for two weeks. If anyone can do it, he can do it of all those people who were at the Tour.”
Froome showed at the Tour that he’s one of the world’s best riders, but the challenge he faces in Rio is that he doesn’t have the same one-day race experience as some of the other cyclists. He has virtually none. Froome will have to ride on “instinct and impulse.”
The Tour is certainly meaningful for Froome, but the Olympics is a unique experience. He told the Guardian, “every year I focus on the Tour de France, that’s a massive, massive goal for me. But the Olympics is just something special, it’s something more than that. It’s something that only comes around once every four years, especially on a course like this that’s so hilly. It could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
For me to win a medal here after the summer we have had after the Tour de France would be just incredible, absolutely amazing.
Froome has a team-first focus going into Rio, however. He highlighted teammate Steve Cummings, who won stage seven of the Tour, as a medal favorite.
“It would be great if at some point we could have him in a breakaway,” Froome said. “It would give us a lot of confidence behind knowing that he is up there and we don’t have to do any chasing … it’s up to other nations to get him back, otherwise he is going to ride away and win the gold.”
But that doesn’t mean Froome doesn’t want to stand on the podium himself.
“For me to win a medal here after the summer we have had after the Tour de France would be just incredible, absolutely amazing.”