Chris Froome at the conclusion of the 2022 season:
"I was finally niggle and injury-free at the start of the year and looking forward to trying to build up back to my old form.
"I started finding my legs at the Tour and after finishing third on Alpe d'Huez I felt I was getting stronger and stronger as the race went on.
"My eyes were set on victory at the Queen stage to Hautacam, I felt fantastic having opened my legs up in the mountains, but was hit by Covid 19, ending my hopes of competing for the win.
"The Vuelta had been a season-long goal, but the effects of Covid really effected my build-up and sadly I was not in condition to compete for the overall victory, which had been my aim.
"It was like training with the handbrake on and put me at a big disadvantage for the rest of the year.
"I felt I could not push to the level I wanted to so the results were not what we expected.
I now have a clear break during the off-season and a plan to build back to my old form with blocks of training at altitude and an opportunity to put in the hard miles.
"I think in 2023 I will be able to get up to the level I want to.
"People don't realise how serious those crash injuries were, but with a bit more time and our training plan I expect to be in good condition next year and hopefully be able to compete as I want to."
Only belatedly reading those comments now and Froome does not appear to lack faith in his own ability. He was never going to compete for victory on Hautacam during the Tour, even as part of a breakaway, so that was delusion.
As for competing to win his third Vuelta, that was delusion as well. He has shown nothing to suggest that he can ever get back close to his peak levels.
Then to think that he can return to his best form next year in his 38th year is yet further delusion. I’m. not sure if he is just saying it in order to pacify sponsors but it is not rational.