BOURG-DE-PÉAGE, France: Chris Froome hinted that he feels unbeatable at the Tour de France by claiming his biggest danger would be crashing.
The 30-year-old Briton has a 3min 09sec lead over second-placed Nairo Quintana with six stages left.
And although the Alps are still to come, where Quintana could realistically make up time on 2013 champion Froome, the Briton says he’s more worried about safety.
“Certainly at this stage there is a big element in staying safe,” he said.
“I’m in a very fortunate and privileged position to have more than three minutes on Nairo Quintana.
“Of course the racing’s going to be up in the climbs in the Alps but on stages like [Sunday’s] in particular, the job of the team is to keep me right at the front, in front of the crashes and big issues.
“That’s at the forefront of our mind every day.”
Avoiding unsavory incidents such as those on Saturday when Froome was doused with urine by a spectator, or last Tuesday when teammate Richie Porte was punched on the final climb, is also a concern.
As such, two policemen stood guard outside the Sky team bus on Sunday morning before the 15th stage departure.
But Froome said that was an organizational call, not one made by his team.
“If you look at any big sporting event such as tennis or football, there are police all over those events, especially when fans start getting more involved in the event than they should do.
“I don’t think that it’s bizarre to have police around in the morning as we’re warming up or leaving buses.”
For the last few days, Froome has fought a running battle with some sections of the media after accusations of doping and using a ‘motorized’ bicycle were thrown at him.
Two years ago after his victory on Mont Ventoux on his way to winning the Tour, Froome was subjected to a tense press conference and told journalists they were ruining the best day of his life with their questions.
But he said he won’t let the brickbats affect him this time around.
“It’s certainly not going to sour the yellow jersey, if obviously I do make it to Paris in the yellow jersey,” said Froome.
“This is something myself and the team have worked extremely hard for. Nothing will change how amazing it would be to win this if we get that far.”
Kenyan-born Froome says his rivals have been nothing but supportive of him during the tense 2015 race.
“I’ve got to admit, I’ve really been overwhelmed by the support from other riders in the peloton, from every nation and every team, coming to show their support,” he said.
“Even through social media, sending messages of support over what’s been happening these last few days.
“I just want to say a big thank you to those teams and riders who’ve been coming forward to show their support.”