UPDATE: Chris Froome denies rumours of certain Tour de France selection

After being ruled out in 2023, Chris Froome is almost certainly making a return to the Tour de France this summer. Israel - Premier Tech are in the process of deciding their '8' for the biggest pro race in the world and the four-time winner should make the trip to Florence in the end of June.

This is reported by L'Équipe. According to the French news outlet, the team is currently making the choice between Froome and Michael Woods, with the rest of the team likely already decided - baring any incidents. In 2023 Woods on the team's sole stage atop the iconic Puy de Dôme, which was the absolute highlight of the race for the Israeli team. This year he prepared for the Giro d'Italia but crashed out on stage 5, suffering a concussion.

Nevertheless, it could be expected that the Canadian would then be selected to the Tour, being one of the team's best climbers and puncheurs; with the best chances of winning a stage. At the time being there are 7 names which are expected to be present at the race: Pascal Ackermann, Derek Gee, Hugo Houle, Krists Neilands, Michael Schwarzmann, Dylan Teuns and Stephen Williams.

Ackermann will be the team's hope in the sprints whilst the rest of the team will chase wins on the hilly days. Dylan Teuns and Stephen Williams have good chances of succeeding, if they find their best level. Woods' addition here would likely not add too much, but there are also questions regarding the Canadian's form - even before the Giro, he struggled to show the results.

Froome is not in a particularly better situation however, having missed out on two and a half months of racing due to a knee injury contracted at Tirreno-Adriatico. He recently returned to competition at the Mercan'Tour Classic and is racing the Criterium du Dauphiné, but has not shown competitive performances either. However the team sponsors want Froome at the Tour quite a lot, understandably due to the exposure he provides the team. The decision will likely have this as a base, unless something abrupt changes over the coming weeks.

UPDATE

Chris Froome has quickly reacted to the news on social media. On X, the former winner of the Grand Boucle has written in response to a post "That's news to me. What about you (Michael Woods)?".

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