Froome out as Tour de France kicks off July 1

Britain’s four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome has been left out of Israel-Premier Tech’s eight-man squad for next month’s race.

Froome, 38, who has not won a race since 2018, had faced many mechanical issues in the build-up to the Tour.

“Physically I was ready, but unfortunately I was unable to show my full ability due to equipment issues,” Froome told GCN.

He withdrew from last year’s race with Covid after stage 17.

Froome added of his absence from the 2023 edition: “I respect the team’s decision and will take some time before refocusing on objectives later in the season and returning to the Tour de France in 2024.”

He joined Israel-Premier Tech in 2021, with the aim to get back to full fitness following a 2019 crash in which he sustained multiple injuries.

However, he has struggled to regain the form he had at Team Sky and has been hampered this season by several forced bike changes.

He won seven Grand Tours in 10 years at Team Sky – the Tour de France in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, the Giro d’Italia in 2018 and the Vuelta a Espana in 2011 and 2017.

Kjell Carlstrom, general manager of Israel-Premier Tech, said: “It was a tough decision to select our Tour de France team this year but we feel we selected eight riders best suited to fulfilling our performance objectives.

“The fact that we had a difficult decision to make when looking at our long list shows the strength and depth of our rider group, and unfortunately we could not select everyone.”

Guillaume Boivin, Simon Clarke, Hugo Houle, Krists Neilands, Nick Schultz, Corbin Strong, Dylan Teuns and Michael Woods will represent Israel-Premier Tech.

The Tour de France starts on 1 July in Bilbao.