Merckx questions Froome's competition at 2016 Tour de France


Five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx expects Chris Froome to win his third yellow jersey in 2016 as he has no credible competition.

Froome sealed his second Tour win in three years in July with a battling display that saw him beat the challenge of Movistar's Nairo Quintana.

The Team Sky rider held the lead of the prestigious race from stage seven in 2015, and kept his rivals at arm's length thanks to the protection provided by his team-mates.

And legendary rider Merckx expects a similar outcome next year, the Belgian failing to see how any of the other contenders can outperform Froome.

"Of course he's going to win it again," Merckx told L'Equipe. "If it's not him, then who else?

"It won't be Quintana who will worry him, because he's too limited in time trials. Quintana climbs well, but he's a bit weighed down, too cautious. Waiting for the penultimate day and Alpe d'Huez [in 2015] to attack Froome revealed a lack of calibre.

"As for the others: [Vincenzo] Nibali won't be there, [Alberto] Contador will be another year older, [Fabio] Aru I don't really know.

"No, on paper, Froome hasn't really got any rivals."