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Froome targets rare double
Chris Froome turns his attentions from the yellow jersey to the rainbow jersey of world champion this weekend.
The 28-year-old Kenya-born Briton on Sunday will bid to become the first man in 24 years to win the Tour de France and Road World Championships in the same year, last achieved by Greg LeMond in 1989.
Froome has had a chance to reflect on winning the 100th Tour de France, with Sunday's 272-kilometre road race his second major goal for the season.
"I feel really proud, a real sense of accomplishment having won the Tour," Froome said.
"I found (motivation) is harder. I still want to go back and target the Tour again next year, but as far as this season goes, the world champs has been the surprising driving force for me, to try to be ready for this road race.
"It hasn't been as big a goal as the Tour and, given that it is a one-day race, it's quite a gamble - it is a bit of a long shot to go for the win there.
"It does make it a lot harder in many respects but having said that, I'm up for it. I know I've done the training.
"(And) anyone who wins on Sunday will need a little bit of luck in their favour."
Froome, who could target one-day classics Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Milan-San Remo in the future, favours as challenging a race as possible on the route in Tuscany.
A tough course can often negate the racing, but Froome wants to limit the opposition by making it challenging for all seven hours in the saddle, "trying to make it the hardest race possible".
The intention would be to make it a climber's race, eliminating the likes of defending champion Philippe Gilbert of Belgium, Slovakia's Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland from contention.
It is also a scenario which Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, Spain trio Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde, Colombians Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran and Ireland's Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche would favour.
Even if those circumstances unfold, Froome knows he would have to break clear of his opponents again to become the third Briton to win the World Championships road race, after Tom Simpson in 1965 and Mark Cavendish two years ago.
"If I am to win, I'm going to have to try and go clear on possibly the last couple of laps," Froome said.
"Having said that, stranger things than that have happened after 270km.
"Even if it does come to a sprint, it's very much still about who's got legs.
"You can be explosive and fast but if you don't have the legs it's not going to help you any more. It's going to boil down to whoever's got the legs after 270km."
Key to his favoured scenario unfolding is a strong display by the British team, who can be expected to set the tempo for much of the day.
Froome leads a strong eight-man squad of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Steve Cummings, Josh Edmondson and Luke Rowe.
Froome and 2012 Tour de France winner Wiggins' relationship has been described as acrimonious, but the Team Sky colleagues will be professional as they bid to achieve their goal.
"I'm expecting Brad to be there in the last few laps in Sunday," Froome said.
"He's definitely going to be one of the key guys towards the end of the race.
"It would definitely be great if he could help me towards the final."
Victory on Sunday would provide a boost for Froome and could be the start of a focus on the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic road race, which is likely to be hilly.
"Rio could very well develop into a really serious goal for me," Froome said.
"It's certainly something which would be a driving force in the back of my mind over the next few months."
Also on Froome's mind will be something more important than sport, the terrorist attack in Nairobi, where he grew up.
"When I heard I was really, really sad," Froome said.
"It was such a scary, scary situation. There were a lot of people, just families and kids going shopping at the weekend, and it would pretty much the last thing that would ever cross your mind that could happen.
"It's a really, really sad situation and my heart goes out to all the families affected by that."