Team Sky rider Chris Froome says he is “optimistic” about his chances as the 2018 Tour de France heads into the mountains.
Speaking on Monday, the Tour’s first rest day after starting on July 7, Froome sais he is looking forward to the three gruelling stages set to take place in the Alps from Tuesday to Thursday.
"I'm feeling good and optimistic about the upcoming stages," said the four-time winner, who is eighth overall after nine stages, 1 minute and 42 seconds behind yellow-jersey holder Greg Van Avermaet.
The Belgian is not expected to be a threat in the mountains, and Froome suggested the leader "will find it difficult to hang on tomorrow [Tuesday]. It's a proper climbers stage."
The TDF champion added, "It's a tough stage. It will definitely start shaping the GC [general classification].”
Froome’s Sky teammate Geraint Thomas is second overall, 43 seconds behind Van Avermaet. This gives the British team two options to claim the yellow jersey over the second week of the Tour.
"It's great for us to have those options to play when it comes down to it, especially looking at some of our rivals who have got two or three options in their team," Froome explained.
"The team around us is such a capable group of guys, and we're really going to be coming into our element now in the mountains."