Ian Boswell’s private tutor: Professor Chris Froome.
Sky’s young American Ian Boswell is one lucky camper. He just scored himself a private one-on-one training block in South Africa with Chris Froome. It’s a Masters Class taught by the two time Tour de France winner and reigning champion.
The original idea was that several riders would join Froome riding around the home roads in the Mpumalanga region. Boswell’s good fortune was that due to injury and illness, nobody else could make the trip. Score!
Boswell has Froome all to himself. This is like a teen kid being pretty good at chess and then scoring a week with the top Grand Master. Or maybe a talented high school quarterback getting personal coaching from Super Bowl champ Peyton Manning. Or you know, having Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo kick balls with you for a week.
Boswell has had a very steady and successful climb in his first three years with Sky. Two years ago he helped Bradley Wiggins win the Tour of California. Then last year in his first grand tour, the Vuelta a Espana, he took an impressive a third-place finish in Andorra. He also cemented his new status by helping Froome win the Critérium du Dauphiné.
All that stellar work has him on the long list for Sky’s Giro d’Italia squad. In the meantime he is soaking up every little lesson he can learn from Froome as they ride up and down the hills past elephants, monkeys, baboons and zebras.
“We’re spending long hours in the saddle and put in some tough rides, but that’s exactly what we need at this time of year,” said Froome. “The terrain’s very hilly, and with there being only two of us here we’re certainly not spending any time sitting in the wheels.”
Boswell is picking up the kind of priceless nuggets of information that money just can’t buy. How do you pull back Nairo Quintana on a Tour de France climb? How do you make Alberto Contador look old, tired and slow? What’s it take to scare Vincenzo Nibali so bad he decides to ride the Giro instead? If I give this monkey a strawberry-banana energy gel will he get sick?
Yes, Boswell is sitting in with the King, lapping up the words of the Maestro, talking in the wisdom of HE WHO WEARS THE MAILLOT JAUNE.
We hope in return for all this personal instruction that Boswell makes Froome one of his special espresso drinks. The kid from Bend Oregon often takes over the coffee deck at the mobile Rapha station, pulling shots and spreading the caffeine.
A nice americano or cappuccino is the least he can do to repay Professor Froome.