Chris Froome gets shot at fifth Tour de France as team is handed wildcard spot

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ALPE D'HUEZ, FRANCE - JULY 14: Christopher Froome of United Kingdom and Team Israel - Premier Tech competes in the breakaway passing through The Dutch corner climbing to the L'Alpe d'Huez while fans cheer during the 109th Tour de France 2022, Stage 12 a 165,1km stage from Briançon to L'Alpe d'Huez 1471m / #TDF2022 / #WorldTour / on July 14, 2022 in Alpe d'Huez, France. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has been given another shot at winning the world's biggest bike race after his team were given a wildcard spot.

Four Pro Tour teams including Frome's Israel Premier Tech have been given wildcard spot to join the 18 World Tour teams for the three-week race in July. The former Team Sky leader showed glimpses of his former self at last year's Tour de France finishing third on the stage up to L'Alpe d'Huez - won by fellow Brit Tom Pidcock.

Froome last won at the Giro d'Italia in 2018 the year before crashing in training and breaking his numerous bones including his pelvis.

After leaving Ineos Grenadiers in 2020, the two-time Olympic bronze medallist joined Israel Premier Tech but has struggled to replicate his former success.

Froome previously spoke about the long term health and heart concerns he has suffered since suffering from COVID-19 last year. The virus forced the British star out of last year's Tour de France on stage 18 and despite returning to racing at Vuelta a España he struggled through the race.

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Chris Froome gets shot at fifth Tour de France as team is handed wildcard spotChris Froome will be hoping to win his fifth Tour de France in July after his team were awarded a wildcard place (PA)

Will Chris Froome win his fifth Tour de France this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Froome said: "I came out of the season not feeling good. I feel I really needed a break. COVID really knocked me for six. I just wasn't able to come back from that.

"I never felt like I had lots of energy on the bike. I went to the Vuelta to build through the race but all the way through I felt flat, flat, flat."

Froome is due to begin his 2023 campaign at the Santos Tour Down Under which starts on January 17. Despite struggling to compete for his fifth Tour de France title in recent years, Bradley Wiggins has said not to write off his off his former team-mate.

Chris Froome gets shot at fifth Tour de France as team is handed wildcard spotSir Bradley Wiggins has warned people not to underestimate former team-mate Chris Froome (PA)

Speaking last year on Eurosport, Wiggins said: "“Is he going to do it [win another Tour]?”

“He hasn’t shown that sort of form over the last couple of years. But this man, never underestimate him. I’ve said it a few times – the day you underestimate Chris Froome, he comes out and does something at your peril.

“Wouldn’t it be great to see this man win a fifth Tour, the greatest Tour rider of our generation.”

Benjamin Goddard

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