Struggling Froome clinging to Giro hope

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British cycling star Chris Froome insisted Monday he still believes he can win the Giro d’Italia despite trailing race leader Simon Yates by over two and a half minutes. The four-time Tour de France winner lost time in the mountains of the southern Abruzzo region on Sunday, and is 11th overall after nine stages.
Crashes before the first stage in Jerusalem and on the eighth on the climb towards Montevergine di Mercogliano have complicated his task. But Froome insists he’s still very much in the race as he bids to become the first rider to win three consecutive Grand Tours after the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana last year.
It is a big gap,” conceded the Team Sky leader on Monday’s second rest day. “But we’ve got some extremely tough racing coming and we’ve got a long time trial as well. “I wouldn’t say it’s likely at this point, but stranger things have happened.
“Whenever you crash the body is going to take a bit of an impact and I’m not pedalling the same as I normally do. That’s something I hope today, the rest day, will hope compensate for a little bit.”
Pre-race favourite Froome, who the bookmakers now place at fourth favourite, has also been under pressure in the build-up due after testing positive for elevated levels of asthma medication salbutamol during last year’s Vuelta a Espana, which he won.—APP

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