Froome kicked off a phenomenal 2013 season with victory in the Middle East – his first ever overall victory in a stage race. With the defence of his Tour de France crown top of his agenda, the Team Sky man will be keen to start the new season in a similar vein of form. The Kenyan-born Brit’s climbing ability is undoubted, and a repeat of some of the devastating attacks he instigated at the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de France last year will stand him in good stead in the later stages.
Backed by a strong team, including new signing, Mikel Nieve, and key climbing domestiques Sergio Henao, David Lopez and Kanstantsin Siutsou, Froome told the Team Sky website he is much more relaxed about the race this time out. However, after training in heat and altitude in South Africa, where he was joined by Siutsou, he insists he is keen to kickstart his season with a victory and back up his phenomenal 2013 campaign with some equally impressive results this time out. His rivals have been warned.