After four days of the Tour du Rwanda, Chris Froome had been a quiet presence in the peloton, lying 21st overall as he continues the early-season preparation for goals later on in the year.
However, that all changed on stage 5, a hilly 195km run from Rusizi to Rubavu featuring six major climbs. The four-time Tour de France winner, who kicked off his season in Australia last month, sprang into action partway through the stage, making the break of the day.
No other riders would join him up front, though, and at 115km from the line it would be a lonely day out in the rain for the 37-year-old.
Froome’s last pro win came at the 2018 Giro d’Italia, where he staged a phenomenal turnaround on the road to Bardonecchia with an 80km solo ride. This time around, he’d spend a similar time on the attack, even if the end result wasn’t quite the same.
In short order, Froome pushed his advantage over the peloton to over three minutes, riding into the virtual race lead. But after two hours in the break, bad luck brought an end to Froome’s adventure, with a puncture halting his progress. On the penultimate climb, he required two wheel changes that saw him drop back to the peloton at 40km to go.
Things then got worse, as Froome was dropped by the lead group and then crashed int he closing kilometres, remounting to finish a few minutes down.
The stage glory would eventually be claimed by Callum Ormiston (Global 6 Cycling), who powered to victory with a solo attack late in the stage.
Only in this sport can so much be thrown at you! A solo breakaway, 2 wheel changes, and a crash later…Froomey gave it everything today 👏 He finished a few minutes down on winner Ormiston.🇷🇼 #TdRwanda23 pic.twitter.com/ytawLcVfYEFebruary 23, 2023
Earlier in the race, Froome said that he was happy to be in Rwanda making his debut at the race, though he emphasised that he wasn’t aiming for the GC, instead looking to build form for later goals.
“I’m going to keep fighting every day,” Froome told local reporters before the stage. “Even just to be here, to be racing and pushing is good for the next races, for the preparation
“I’m really happy to be here. I’m realistic – I’m not going to be winning this Tour of Rwanda because I’m not in the top shape to win the races yet. My big target will be in July for the Tour de France so now starts my preparation for July.”
As well as building up for future races alongside the team’s development riders Roi Weinberg, Nadav Raisberg and Cole…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CyclingNews RSS Feed…