(Reuters) Chris Froome’s biggest rival has turned his attention back to the Tour de France but the three-time champion does not regard Nairo Quintana as his most dangerous threat.
“My biggest threats come from guys who did not do the Giro — Richie Porte, (two-time winner) Alberto Contador and (last year’s runner-up) Romain Bardet,” Froome told Reuters.
“I think it is going to be tough for Nairo to do the Giro and the Tour.”
“He may then be doing better on the Tour because he is a rider who is better in the second than the first grand tour,” the Kenya-born 32-year-old said.
Froome, however, tipped former Australian team mate Porte as a major contender.
“Richie has been amazing this season, winning the Tour Down Under and recently the Tour of Romandie. I think this year’s Tour suits Richie really well,” he explained.
“He’s definitely got a chance to be up there for the win. This season he has been showing what he is capable of. I always believe in Richie,” Froome added.
Froome has had a low-key season to date but will continue his preparations for his main targets against Spain’s Contador and Frenchman Bardet at the eight-stage Criterium du Dauphine starting on Sunday.
“I think it has been a build up similar to what I had last year. I think it worked well and I was able to do the Tour and the Vuelta (a Espana),”.
“After the Tour, if everything goes well, I’d love to do the Vuelta,” he added of a race he has finished second in three times.
The Tour de France starts in Duesseldorf, Germany on July 1 and ends in Paris on July 23.