Chris Froome hopes to cement legacy as Team Sky enters defining year

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is looking to cement his legacy by winning a record-equaling fifth title in 2019.

Only four men — Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain — have won the prestigious event five times and Froome dreams of joining that illustrious list.

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“I’m certainly getting to the point in my career now where I’m starting to think about what kind of legacy I want to leave behind,” Froome told CNN Sport.

“If I am able to win it [Tour de France] for a fifth time and join that very elite group of bike riders, it would just be incredible.”

Both Froome and current Tour champion Geraint Thomas have announced they will skip this year’s Giro d’Italia in order to focus on winning the coveted yellow jersey.

READ: Sky to end ownership of cycling outfit Team Sky

Froome has been central to Team Sky’s success since its creation in 2010. Alongside fellow Brits Thomas and Bradley Wiggins, the 33-year-old has helped the team win six of the last eight Tour de France titles.

However, the team has been dogged by criticism for its use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) with an inquiry being launched by Britain’s Parliament to investigate whether the team had been guilty of any doping offenses.

The report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said the team had crossed an “ethical line.”

Froome, who won the Tour de France in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, was one of the high-profile names caught up in such allegations but he’s since been cleared of any violation.

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Team Sky’s final year

Now, one of cycling’s most successful partnerships is nearing an end. Broadcaster Sky announced it would end its ownership and sponsorship of Team Sky at the end of next year, in order to focus on other projects.

It leaves Team Sky looking for a new sponsor but there are hopes a successful 2019 season can attract a suitable replacement.

“We all want to close the Team Sky story with the strongest possible finish. We are more motivated as a Team than we have ever been,” said a Team Sky statement.