Following an incident-free stage 5 for the Briton, Froome completed the hilly run through western Sicily in the main group in 33rd place in the same time as the winner and lies in 19th place overall.
But with Thursday’s ascent of Mount Etna looming on the horizon, Froome said he expects a full-blown battle on the slopes of the still active volcano. Whilst not sounding overly gung-ho when talking about how he will tackle the first major ascent of the Giro d’Italia, it’s clear he hopes to leave Sicily in a much better place than when he arrived on Monday from Israel.
“There’s a lot of different dynamics going on in the race at the moment,” Froome told a small group of reporters after warming down outside the Team Sky bus, parked – along with all the other team buses – in a grim-looking industrial estate on the outskirts of the finish town of Santa Ninfa.
“Obviously a lot of pure climbers who don’t fancy their chances in the time trial against Dumoulin who will be wanting to take time on him, and it’s the first big mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia.
“It could be very explosive and very active towards the final. Let’s see how it goes. For me, I’m just hoping to get through the stage as best I can. Obviously, I’ve lost a bit of time already, but I’d like to start improving on that.”
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