British cyclist Chris Froome during last year's Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
British cyclist Chris Froome during last year's Jayco Herald Sun Tour. Con Chronis

Froome feeling good for Herald Sun Tour defence

CYCLING: Defending champion Chris Froome says he is not feeling the pressure as he looks to become the first rider in more than a decade to claim back-to-back Jayco Herald Sun Tour titles.

The 31-year-old Team Sky rider is back in Victoria and feeling fit as he prepares to embark on the 64th edition of Australia's oldest stage race today.

Froome won his third Tour de France in four years after launching his season Down Under and winning the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in 2016.

The Kenyan-born British rider said the race provided the perfect platform for his season and he hoped being back in Australia would again launch a strong year.

"I think I'm where I need to be at this time of year," Froome said.


Supplied image of British cyclist Chris Froome posing for a photograph after claiming the stage victory and the Tour title during stage 4 Arthurs Seat Finale of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Victoria, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AAP Image/Herald Sun Tour, Con Chronis) NO ARCHIVNG, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
British cyclist Chris Froome after winning stage four and sealing the overall Jayco Herald Sun Tour title last year. Con Chronis

"I've still got a long way to go, for sure, until I'm in Tour de France shape but feelings are good and that's the main thing at this point."

The tour kicked off with a 2.1km prologue beginning at Federation Square last night before today's stage one, starting at Wangaratta this morning and finishing at Falls Creek this afternoon.

It will conclude with four laps of a Kinglake circuit on Sunday.